Conversations with Z: the confusing agnostic mom edition

Driving in the car, raining.

Z (age: three and a half): It rains a lot here.

Clueless But Hopeful Mama (age: getting older by the second): It sure does. That's why everything is so green.

Z: Yeah. In California, plants were always brown.

CBHM: That's true. Plants need lots of water-

Z: -or they die. Do all things die?

CBHM: *GULP* Yes, Z, all living things will die at some point.

Z: Will I die?

CBHM: Yes, Z, one day you will die.

Z: When?

CBHM: A very, very, very long time from now. When you are a very old woman (*FERVENT PRAYER SAID HERE*)

Z: Do all people die?

CBHM: Yes, Z, all people will die at some point.

Z: Can we still walk around?

CBHM: When we're dead?

Z: Yeah.

CBHM: No.... well.... our bodies can't.... um.... I honestly don't know.

Z: Can we ask the 'puter when we get home? Can we ask Google?

CBHM: This is one question that I'm not sure Google can answer. What do you think?

Z: I don't know. What do you think?

CBHM: Well, some people think that when you die you go to a place called Heaven and I bet you could walk around there. Or even fly! Who knows?

Z: Silly people! People can't fly!

CBHM: Well, since none of us has ever been to Heaven, we can't really know what happens there, now can we?

Z: Can I go to Heaven?

CBHM: I hope some day that you will go to a place like Heaven. And I hope it's a really, really, really long time from now.


Swistle said...

"...And I hope this ENDS THIS DISCUSSION before I CRY ALL OVER YOU, clutching you to my bosom and saying 'NO NO DEATH TAKE ME INSTEAD!!!!'"

desperate housewife said...

Ugh. So far I have avoided any such "death and heaven and the ultimate end of all living things" discussions with Addy. THANK HEAVENS. I was also SO relieved that we had decided, given our history of loss, not to tell her about an upcoming new baby right when we found out we were pregnant. So although she knew something a little weird was going on, she just thought I wasn't feeling well for awhile, and we didn't have to explain that the baby had "gone away" or any such unpleasantness.

Hillary said...

My poor sister had to deal with this recently with her 2 year old and almost 4 year old. They got a cat. They loved the cat. Two days later, the cat died suddenly. Awkward.

clueless but hopeful mama said...


DH and Hillary- yeah, the pet thing is hard and I hope it doesn't come up for us for a long time. The closest we get is looking at pictures of great grandparents and being asked "where they went".

Jane said...

I had a very similar discussion with my 3 1/2 year old son last week. He was clear on the death/buried part (ouch), but wanted to know how we would get to Heaven. Maybe on a super fast plane? As much as I was impressed by his ability to grasp what I (37) consider pretty complex ideas, it was an incredibly hard conversation because of how it forced me to consider his mortality. So empathetic!

miyoko said...

just when we get the diapers, the purees, the non-bpa, the carseat installations, the potty training down, we get hit with having to explain the meaning of life. oof.

Jos said...

this has been coming up over here too. oh, & how babies get into mama bellies. the whole cycle-of-life, all at age 3. help!

Good Enough Mom said...

Miyoko--YES! Exactly! Nicely said.

We've had a lot of these conversations with our 5-year old, usually right before bed. He typically lays these doozies on my husband...asking what it's like to be buried, if a coffin is like a bed, if there are animals underground that will get him...

OY! HEARTWRENCHING! Hubby's response is JUST what Swistle said!

Amie said...

Oh I am so not ready for this one.

bingo mama said...

Aw.. sweet conversation with an angel. Funny how everyone depends on Google.

Astarte said...

Oh, I hate those conversations. You don't want to scare them, but you want to be honest. One time Josie asked me if *I* was going to die, and when I said yes, someday, she started to cry!

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