Sophia sat on her bed meticulously brushing her hair. It is finally (and just barely) long enough to braid, and she is certain that regular brushing and a good night’s sleep will bring her the golden, toe length tresses she wishes for.
Sophia: Mommy, you just have to brush your hair gently every night to get hair like Rapunzel’s. Healthy hair does not have tangles. Also, you need to go to sleep every night, because sleep is healthy. That is a fact. I will do whatever I can for my hair, you know.
Me: Yes sweetie, I know. Your hair is beautiful as it is, but I know you want the longest hair in the world. It will be a lot of work to have hair that long.
Sophia: It will be beautiful though, don’t you think?
Me: Of course babe.
Sophia: Well, that is enough brushing. (She carefully lays her princess brush on the table next to her bed)
The sun was setting over her bed and for a moment she was glowing in its last rays. She looked up and closed her eyes.
Sophia: Ah, the sun. The sun makes me cry and the sun makes me die. Crying and dying, that is the sun.
Me: Sophia, the sun is beautiful. What do you mean?
Sophia: When the sun is bright and you look at it you might cry. When the sun goes down, you might die. Crying and dying. (She begins to sing this over and over…crying and dying, crying and dying. I think this is totally strange.)
Me: Sophia the sun is bright and we don’t look right at it but I have never seen you cry. And honey, we are all alive and we will not die when the sun goes down. People can die when they are sick or when they are old and it is time. It is not because the sun goes down.
Sophia: Hmmm, I like how it sounds because it rhymes. Crying and Dying in the sun!
Me: That’s heavy Soph, I love rhymes too but what about bright and light is the sun? That rhymes too.
The light changed and she really seemed contemplative, as much so as a 4 year old could be.
Sophia: Mom, do you know something? When you get really old, like 100 years old, you start to shrink. And when you are really really old, like 115, you shrink so much (she moves two fingers together) that you totally disappear and then you die when you are tiny.
Me: I know that sometimes as people get older their bones and muscles change so they seem shorter, but they do not get so tiny they disappear sweetie. When people die they are not tiny.
Sophia: I really think they are, and I also know that it is dark.
Sophia: Mom, Violet is quiet. I am not scared, so I am ready to go to sleep.
Me: Oh – okay. Well, I love you. Kisses. Best friends forever.
Sophia: Best friends forever Mom. I love you too.
A few thoughts on this, the strangest conversation I have had thus far with my firstborn child.
First, I may have over emphasized the evil aspects of the sun as I religiously apply and re-apply sunscreen. Just maybe I should refrain from saying “I am saying in this heat” or “this sun is killing me”.
Second, I realize that I did not say much in this conversation. I was basically dumbfounded as I listened to her. I still don’t know what else I could have said, but maybe there was a better way to respond?
Third, I am going to gloss over this and pretend that it makes her some sort of tiny genius, who thinks about things far beyond her years and will someday be able to support me in her old age due to her brilliance.
Fourth, as I sit here, it sort of sounds nice to get tiny and then leave this world as tiny as we started in our mothers’ womb. I imagine a little light that finally disappears into the heavens. It sounds a lot nicer than the way most people actually go. Also, thinking these things makes me pretty certain that she she is my child. Clearly she inherited my penchant for carrying odd thoughts to their conclusion.
Finally, I think this is just the beginning. Hold me, this is going to be quite the ride.
Please tell me your children have said some crazy things too! I would love to know I am not alone.