Thursday, November 8, 2012

When I die...

Words you do not expect to hear from your four year old. Let me explain.

On a recent grocery shopping excursion, I pick up a few 75% off Halloween items. One was a mummy that is sensor activated. Ethan is a little leery of the thing, but his curiosity always gets the best of him. And so this morning, he asked me, "Mom, where do Mummy's come from? Why are there Mummy's?" I suppose a lot of Mom's would've sugar-coated things and said something to the effect of they're for scaring people on Halloween, but Ethan doesn't buy fabrications well. He can be very much the realist. A car is flying in a commercial? Ethan is quick to point out that cars cannot fly.

And so I gave it to him straight. Many, many years ago in Egypt, the Egyptians would build pyramids with tombs below. When they would pass away, or die, they would put the person's organs in jars and wrap the person tight in cloth (or guaze). And that person would lay in the tomb with his heart nearby so that it would always be with him. (Remember, I was explaining this all the fly and after the whole organ thing came out, I wanted to reassure him...strange, I know, but at least I didn't tell him they'd also kill the cats to put with him). And they would put the person's favorite thing in the tomb with him.

And so Ethan says, "Oh, so when I die, I will be wrapped up?"

"No," I said, "we don't do that anymore."


"I don't know."

"Well, when I die, Mom, I want to be wrapped up like a mummy with my heart in a special jar right next to me."

"Okay. But, you know Ethan, I don't want you thinking about when you die. That's not going to happen for a very, very, very long time."

"But everybody dies."

"Well, yes, but it won't be soon."

And so the conversation continued in much the same way throughout the remainder of trip to big school. I warned the teachers that he had a new fascination with mummy's, so they wouldn't freak out when he starts talking about it. Because he will.

The child is exhausting, and maybe I shouldn't be so honest with him, but I find that not being honest often back fires when it comes to Ethan. He's currently in a phase of wanting to know where everything comes from. EVERYTHING. Where do toys come from? Where do Mommies come from? Where do cars come from? Where do Mummy's come from?

All.Day.Long. I have to search for answers. And sometimes, I simply say, I don't know, I'll have to look it up. Okay, he says. And you can bet the child will ask me if I've looked it up.


  1. He is just something else! I love where his mind goes and the fact that he really needs to know these things. He will be googling all the time once he has his own computer.

  2. I have to applaud you for giving it to him straight. That's where the smart kids come from. The kids who go out into the world and make a difference because things weren't hidden from them (too much) as children. The children who have the power to think and create and be something different.

    He's such a smart kid!

  3. He sounds like a FUN handful of a little man - you should be proud :o). I think it's awesome he's so intrigued with the world around him.