From my personal Facebook page last November:
It was an eventful night in parenting. Got Zack ready for bed and went outside with a sleeping bag to look at stars. While we were stargazing, a bright shooting star streaked across the sky! He was so excited, he was bouncing up and down.
We talked a bit about meteors and meteorites. I mentioned that Daddy might have a piece of meteorite, from his Grandpa. He stops. Wait - Daddy has a Grandpa?
Whoops. Know this is leading toward a Big Question, but here goes. Yes, he had a Grandpa. So did I. What happened? I told him. A nice, simple, 5-year-old version. And if you know me, you know I respect a 5-year-old's intelligence and ability to cope. Simple, kind, but true.
Not sure I was ready. He quickly realized this applies to everyone, to Mommy too. He cried and said, "but I'll miss you..." He let me comfort him and reassure him:
1. I am not that old yet, so we plan to have a lot of time together,
2. You know why we always say "I love you?" It's because love lasts forever, even after people are gone.
He asked, "who will be my Mommy, when you are gone?"
"I will always be your Mommy!"
I reminded him all the other people who love him, so he will never have to be alone. I pointed out my Mommy is still here even when I'm all grown up, so we can expect to be together a long time.
He decided maybe he should not eat food anymore, since food makes him grow up big and strong (and maybe he no longer likes that idea.) I told him sorry, it doesn't work that way, we need food to stay healthy and to be alive. Also, there are some good things about growing up - I am only his Mommy because I grew up and met Daddy and now we have a son.
"So I could be a Daddy and have a kid when I grow up?"
"Yes, if you want."
"But I'd have to find another Mommy..."
"Well, you're still a kid, and we still have a lot of time together."
He'd recovered by then, and said "Let's go inside." We went in and read the next issue of "Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur."
I'm still reeling. We don't realize till we get there, how amazing it is to be raising little people - how beautiful, frightening, humbling, and inspiring this is. I suppose these words apply to big people too. Like Zack, I've tended to take us all for granted.
I love you, shooting stars.