The Hard Questions

We have so many serious conversations around here, it’s amazing my head doesn’t explode from trying to keep a straight face during the es-ee-ex part, not crying during the really sad ones, and maintaining my composure when discussing school rules vs. our family rules vs. other families’ rules.

Last night, interrupting my lovely singing, Alex asked a very serious question: “Who will take care of me if something bad happens to you?”

This stemmed from our earlier conversation about the cartoon Adventure Time, where it seems that the human boy was adopted by the dog boy’s parents. Alex and I have had many conversations for many years about kids that don’t have parents. He has understood from a young age that there are various reasons for biological parents to not be around. But this time the conversation went a step beyond where it always had been; instead of focusing on other kids, Alex finally brought it back to his own life.

I told him if something bad ever happened to me and I wasn’t able to take care of him, Daddy would, of course.

“Okay, but what if something bad happens to Daddy?”

“Well, then you would go live with Munga [his grandmother].”

“Okay, but what if something bad happens to Munga?”

“You could live with Nana and D [grandmother and grandfather].”

“Okay, but what if something happens to both of them?”

The list went on. Great Grandma. Great Uncle Mike. Cousins. Great Aunts. His “Uncle” and “Aunt” (Zach’s best friend and my best friend, since Zach and I are only children). Distant relatives. Close friends. Friends of the family. On and on and on. “But what if something happened to them? Then who would take care of me?”

Finally he settled on an acceptable answer: “Oh! I know! Michelle and Alexis could take care of me!”

I laughed and said, yes, we will add them to our list.

A boy and his bear.

After tucking his sheet back around his shoulders, handing him his favorite Bear, and kissing his forehead, he got a serious look on his face and asked, “But…how would I get there? No one but you knows how to get to their house and you won’t be taking care of me anymore.”

“Well, buddy, you can always call a police man for help.”

Satisfied with the answer, he fell asleep almost immediately.