Sunday, 8 July 2012
Wrinkles are just antique smiles...
I thought we had more time before we had to answer the really tough questions in life. It appears not. And as an aside, why is it that the Sweetpea is always away for these discussions. It is really unfair and a bit rude, since he would be the one to answer them so much better than I.
We have been away for a few weeks (as is evidenced by the lack of blogs too), and during that time, Sweetpea was acting as a locum for the local hospital. Not arduous work, but at times he was out at night, which is when the uncomfortable questions usually occur.
Sam was musing in a concerned way as I tucked him into bed for the night. "We are getting older, aren't we?" he asked me.
"Yes," I replied, "at your next birthday, you will be five, and then you will go off to school."
"But if we are getting older, then that means you are getting older too?" he queried, making sure all his facts were straight.
I confirmed that this was indeed the case, that we all get older over time.
I was totally unprepared for all three children's reactions. Sam and Paddy set each other off first - they started crying as though their hearts would break. "I don't want you to get older," wailed Paddy. "Then you will die and leave us alone."
Sam was sobbing uncontrollably at this point, and he set off Little Miss Snoopy, who started a determined wail of her own. Trying to comfort three wailing kids is no mean feat - I only have two arms after all. I called them all into my bed and positioned them, one on each side and one on the top, and tried to make them see reason.
I talked to them about how they will one day go off to school, and then probably University, and how, at this stage of their lives, they will probably want to be out there on their own. And eventually, they might want to have families and children of their own, and then it won't seem as though they were all alone. But I should have recognised the futility of my arguments from the start, for while they were asking grown-up questions, their little minds could not comprehend a time when they would not feel like four-year old boys. A time when the answer to the question "what do you want to be when you grow up?" might not involve the answer "a superhero".
What a difficult and wonderful time of life. It reminds me of that classic quote from Aladdin, when referring to the all-knowing genie: "Phenomenal cosmic powers, itty, bitty living space". All this potential, trapped in four-year old minds.
I can't wait to see what will happen next!