Deep Questions with Decker

by Byron on January 21, 2018

Decker,

Tonight you told me that you didn’t want to be a person anymore.  You said that was because you didn’t want it to hurt when you died.  Then we had one of the deepest conversations I’ve ever had with anyone.  But let me backup for a second.

A week or so ago, you asked me when the world was going to end.  I said I didn’t know.  I said no one really knew.  I said maybe God knew.  Then, a few days later, you told me that you asked the babysitting person at Mommy’s gym when the world was going to end.  That had to fuck with him a little bit, coming from a five-year old and all.

So back to tonight.  We talked a little bit about the nature of being a person after your declaration that you didn’t want to be one anymore.  Then you said there was one thing that you didn’t understand.  You said “How did God make all the people? …Like Mimi and PopPop and Mommy and Aunt Hillary?”  I started with the big bang and tried to go from there.  You short-circuited me a little bit, so we talked about how Daddy’s cells combined with Mommy’s cells to make you and Gibson and how you grew inside Mommy from being the size of a almost nothing to being an inch, then a foot, then more, then you came out.  And Mommy grew inside Mimi, and I grew inside Grandma.  (None of this stork shit for you.  Something tells me you wouldn’t be having that tomfoolery.)

We traced it back on both sides.  Then you thought you had me stumped when you asked me about who did great grandma grow inside of and I said I don’t know that person.  You were kind of like, “AHA,” until I explained that I went to that person’s house in Brooklyn.  Then I explained that Great-Grandma and GReat-Grandpa grew up on the ame street in Brooklyn, NY.  This fascinated you, that they “were friends, then got together.”  Literally, your words.

Dude.  I really have to check myself that you are five.  A lot.

I basically explained that I don’t know how God created people.  Then you asked me what happens when you die.  I said I don’t know.  (I’ve answered that one before.)  I said some people believe in heaven.  You said that you believed in heaven.  Then you said I was going to die first.  At first, I said probably.  Then, in my mind I thought, “I sure as fuck hope so!”  Then I said yes.

Then you said to me, “The day after you die, what if you don’t like it.  You won’t have any choice.”  Great point, I said, but maybe we never die.

I explained that cells are energy, and the energy goes elsewhere, and maybe our bodies go in the ground and make other things like trees or grass or flowers.  I asked what you’d be if you weren’t going to be a person.  You said maybe a mailbox or a restaurant or a water fountain (I think you meant the large, stone, decorative kind; but maybe you meant the utilitarian metal school hallway kind).  I said maybe you’d want to be a tree.  You said sure to that.  Then I asked if we could be near each other.  Maybe if you were going to be a mailbox, I’d be a tree and give you shade.

At some point I stopped you and said that you were asking the most amazing questions.  You were asking the only questions that don’t have human answers and maybe those were the only questions that mattered.  I said I was so impressed.  You acted surprised.  You seemed a little embarrassed by your genius questions.  I hope you aren’t embarrassed.

I said that I don’t know what happens after you die.  I said the answer for me is in making the world a better place and that means, first and foremost, you and Gibson.  This seemed to surprise you.  I also explained that being the best Dad I could be was super important to me and having the best possible day I could every day.  I was crying at this point.  I’m not sure you saw.  We were lying in your bed with only a faint nightlight.

Decker- I’m so proud of you and so impressed with you.  Stay after the big questions.  Remember, though, that the little happinesses day to day keep us sane while the questions linger over us.

Today, the big happiness was your and Gibson’s first day ever of skiing.  It was awesome!  We had a great day!  I love you and Gibson and Mom so much!

Dad

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: