Wow. That’s not the usual light-hearted bedtime conversation I have with Ava. We are usually fretting over which stuffed animal belongs where and what book she will read to me. Not mortality.
“When you die, what kind of grave do you want?” she went on. ”Would you like the kind that covers you from the rain? I could put a Winnie the Pooh on it with a jar of honey. That would be nice.”
I was completely caught off guard. It’s true that I do look at her and think about her growing up and what things will be like when I’m gone. I’m just not ready for her to ask these kinds of questions.
“I would love the kind that covers me from the rain,” I told her. “And Winnie would be a really nice touch.”
She hugged my neck and didn’t want to let go. This is her usual routine, but on most nights, she clings because she doesn’t want to go to sleep. I could tell she was holding on for a different reason this time.
“Momma, you are 37 and that’s old,” she continued. “I’m going to be a grandma in, like, a minute and you will be gone.”
I squeezed her closer and assured her as best I could.
“I’m still very young, Ava. And it will be a very long time before you are a grandma. We still have so many more years together.”
Her gorgeous blue eyes were misty. She smiled and hugged me again.
“I love you, Momma. More than you can ever imagine.”
Sometimes being a parent is equally as hard as it is rewarding.