Island Packet — When you have kids, death comes up a lot. If you have pets, for instance, death is a bracing, occasional reminder of the fragility of life — except if you have goldfish, in which case death is something that happens every six days and can be mostly cured by a trip to the pet store.
So a few nights ago, as I was reaching for the lightswitch, my 10-year-old announced that he’d like to spend the day before he dies looking at pictures from the course of his entire life.
As you might expect, when you’re readying for the usual bedtime-delaying tactics involving glasses of water and additional blankets, that’s a pretty serious punch to absorb. One minute you’re reading Percy Jackson and mentally plotting your laundry strategy in the unlikely event bedtime ever ends; the next you’re being plunged into existential coldness by an unseen force reminding you that despite your best efforts one day you’ll die, as will your son, as will your other son, as will everyone you’ve ever known, and you have about two and a half seconds to come up with a response that’ll calm your developing child’s mind, allow him to fall asleep in the next two days and prevent yourself from shattering into tiny slivers at 8:30 p.m. on a Tuesday.