The other day we drove past a cemetery. Since it was the holiday season this cemetery looked like a Christmas card with its poinsettias, sparkling winter wreaths and assorted bouquets. Grayson noticed. In fascination he asked, "Mommy, what is dat?"
Uh oh. I better not screw this up.
"Umm. It's...well...it's... it's..... a resting place," I say almost whispering.
"For who?" he does not hesitate.
"For ummm...well...for people who aren't here anymore. People who love them go there to remember them. Sometimes they bring flowers to put on their name." Jesus help me. Bring flowers to put on their name? Is that the best I can do? Wow. How do I explain this one...did I say enough? Did I say too much? Will he understand it all?
"Oh. Do you know what my fav'rit colors are?" Thankfully, terrain I can work with and also not simultaneously hyperventilate.
Three Days Later
We're in the car and pass the same cemetery and Grayson again asks, "What is dat?" I sense he already knows the answer but I tell him anyway.
"It's a resting place for people who aren't here any more." There, almost painless.
"Yes, day put f-owers ("flowers" - blasted word blends) on people who are dead."
"What did you say?" the shock chokes my volume and I whisper again, "What did you say?"
"I said day put f-owers on dead people. Then the tings (flowers maybe?) go in and make dem better so day come alive and feel all better with f-owers on dem."
What the??? "Who told you that?"
God bless you, Major. Leave it to a Marine to give it to him straight (Well, aside from the flowers bringing them back to life again. Another day, another conversation.)
Tonight I will do the dishes and walk the dog.