Yesterday, 3B asked Mama, “When I’m five, will I still be me?”
If he didn’t know before that he was the son of a philosophy major, he does now.
He followed that up with a discussion of death, asking Mama if she would die and later asking if he would die.
She answered in as matter-of-fact of a tone as she could muster while silently contemplating the horrible thoughts the conversation was rendering before her mind’s eye that yes, they would both eventually die.
As she girded herself for the upcoming discussion of mortality, 3B turned to his stuffed animals and announced, “Mickey’s in the circus! C’mon, Mommy!”
Mama told me all this as we had dinner with our friend, Aunt A, and discussed the weather, which is apparently about to turn frightful. As a bike commuter, I have a keen interest in meteorological happenings in my neighborhood, so after everyone had either gone home or to bed, I set about finding my warmer layers for tomorrow morning’s ride.
It was something I had to do anyway, having discovered on Monday that the temperature at which my current layers cease to insulate me sufficiently is 30 degrees Fahrenheit. My heavier pants–fine, call them tights if you must–were easy to find in my winter bike wear drawer. My additional thermal layer and heavier coat are similarly easy to find in their places in the closet. However, my warmer gloves were more elusive.
Were they in the hat and glove basket in the closet by the front door? Which hat and glove basket in the closet by the front door? Perhaps in my personal items basket in the closet by the front door? Hm. No, the only gloves in there were my standard dog walking gloves, not used since last winter.
Which got me to thinking that I didn’t commute by bike last winter, and those gloves are too heavy to wear to work on the bus or Metro. I would have only worn those gloves when we visited the farm and when it got cold enough here–and in both places only for walking Barky, which required being outside for long periods of time.
I opened the second hall closet, the one closer to the bathroom, and there, in the pockets of my down coat, were my warm gloves, faithfully waiting for me to return to them. They had stayed there since my last winter dog walk, when none of us knew how soon I would lose track of them, and none of us knew that before he turned nine, Barky would no longer be, and none of us believed that just because everyone dies sometime, that this year one among us would die before his time.