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.

13 thoughts on “Heaven

  1. What a hard and wonderful moment to be a mom! It must feel so wonderful to have your boy (who you love tremendously) love you back so unabashedly.
    At the same time that’s the kind of question where language fails…. so hard!
    But I know from experience that God can make up for inadequacies in parenting if the parents are actively inviting Him to make up for their inadequacies, so between you and Him, I’m sure the answer was perfectly up to par.

  2. I recently had almost the exact same conversation with my 5 year old son. He asked “when I grow up, will you die?”, and HE started to get teary and choked up as well. It was so out of the blue. I asked him at first what made him think of that, then I told him that yes, everyone dies eventually. But we talked about how everyone will also live again, because Jesus died and was ressurected. Also, I talked to him a little about how I will always be his mommy, even when I die. I was very caught off guard by the question, but felt guided in my response as em says. I am sure you were too. What a sweet experience though.

  3. My daughter told everyone in her preschool that they would die when they got old, and their parents would die when they got old, and freaked out one boy in particular. After that, he kept telling his mom he didn’t want birthdays anymore. I don’t really know where she got it, but she was very matter of fact about it. She scared the other 4 year olds, though.

  4. *sniff sniff* Can we keep our kids forever? I know we can, but can we keep them small forever too?

    So cute! What a great way to wake up; knowing how much your little boy loves you!

  5. hey there
    can’t remember how i found ya.. maybe *share the love*??
    loved this post, what a cutie. my kiddos have all asked the same questions very heart-wrenchingly. and i remember agonising over it as a kid too.
    love your “flames of hair” imagery. beautiful.

  6. Really heartwarming post! I don’t look forward to answering those questions in a couple of more years…. I’m sure your answers were perfect.

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