The Dead Bird by Margaret Wise Brown started it.
I had not read the book, a library book picked out by Carter with many others on our last trip to the library. I walked into the living room and saw Carter, a strange expression on his face, his backpack in hand, all packed up and ready for our family vacation. We were moments from leaving for the airport.
I asked him what was wrong. He proceeded to tell me about a book – the dead bird book. There was a dead bird. Some kids found it. They buried it. They brought flowers to its grave. They were sad and they cried.
Carter looked at the floor, his backpack drooped. Carter is not one to get emotional. He is rather stoic about his emotions so I knew what was to come was important.
I told him that the book sounded sad but nice, that death was a normal part of living, that everything dies. I may have said something about how good it is that there are books written for children about death.
“I know everyone dies,” he squeaked, and then proceeded to list off people and pets that have died.
“And you and poppa will die too!” he nervously stated.
I told him that, yes, we would and asked him if he knew what would happen to him if we died and he was still living with us.
He shrugged and said no.
I then told him about the plans Husband and I put into place years ago, a living will (is that the correct term?) legally passing on Cody and Carter’s care into the hands of some good friends of ours – friends that the boys know and like. Perhaps like too much.
For upon hearing this, Carter’s face lit up and he gave a great fist pump.
This came to mind:
To curb his enthusiasm I asked him if he realized that both Husband and I would have to die for this to happen. His enthusiasm dampened.
Although only slightly.