My son is asking about death.
He wants to know if he will die. He wants to known when he will die. He wants to know how he will die. He wants to know what will happen after he dies. He wants to know if Mommy will die. He wants to know if Daddy will die.
When I was asked these deep questions by a not-quite 4-year-old, I paused. This was one of those moments when I needed to have my Mom act together. I was not going to get away with a, "Oh, just because..." answer.
It was during my pause that my son threw me for a loop. It seems he wasn't so concerned about dying, but actually more concerned about being "alone" and "away from everybody."
He wasn't really worried about dying, he was worried about not being able to hug his mom when he needed it most.
Did anyone else's heart just jump into their throats?
I, of course, assured my tiny worry wart that he would always have someone. I was vague. I was very non specific, and I choked back tears the entire time, knowing it wasn't true.
I wasn't as concerned with the lie as I was the truth. One day he may be alone. One day I won't be here. One day...
I think I liked it better when I thought he was obsessed with death.
Erin Kotecki Vest lives in Southern California and is a writer and stay-at-home mom of Jackson, three, and Hala, one. She spent nearly a decade as a news reporter and anchor in Orlando and Los Angeles.