Pre-dawn, Jeffrey crawls in bed and nestles down next to me, holding my hand tightly.
“Mama?” he whispers.
“Hmmm- what, baby?” I inhale the shampoo and Little-boy from the flames of hair tickling my cheeks…
Rolling over, he puts his hands on my face, looking earnestly at me from two inches away. “I don’t want to grown up, mama. I don’t want to get big.”
Barely able to focus on his freckled nose- I ask why he doesn’t want to get big.
“I don’t want to get big because when I do, you will be old and die.” He starts to cry as the words choke out.
Lump in my throat, thoughts whirling, I try and figure out what to say… He is right- I won’t lie to my children, someday I will get old and someday, hopefully a long time from now, I too will die. It just wasn’t something I was prepared to face before the sun was even up today- and here it was, freckles sprayed across it’s nose, staring earnestly towards my face.
I hope and pray my answer was not only good enough, but that it was the truth.