Rachael and I got out for a quick afternoon run to the Dollar Store. Jaden was so excited about the Dollar Store, we took him with us – leaving mom with the triplets. Of course as soon as we load into the minivan, Jaden wanted to watch his movie. Boy was I glad when I told him we were going to talk and listen to music because we had the most precious conversation!
Jaden: I want to live somewhere where it’s warm all the time.
Me: Do you like it better when it’s warm or cold outside?
Jaden: I like warm – like the beach!
We passed by a cemetery and Jaden said that he remembered his “Grandpa Tickley Beard” (my grandfather who passed away August 2008).
Jaden: I miss my Grandpa Tickley Beard.
Me: Yea me too.
Jaden: He’s in heaven with Jesus. I go and see him there?
Me: No, I’m sorry Jaden, it doesn’t work like that.
Jaden: How do I get there? Do I drive there or do I fly there?
— thinking he’s talking about how to get to his ‘warm’ beach I respond:
Me: To the beach?
Jaden: NO to heaven!
— I took a deep breath here and really debated on what to say. Was I really having a conversation about death with my 4 year-old and how much does he really need to know? Do I say the “d” word? Or do I try to find another analogy to continue our “story”?
Me: Well Jaden, when you die that’s when you go to heaven.
Jaden: Can I go and visit him?
Me: No – it’s a one way ticket. You can’t come back. When you die, you go and stay with Jesus.
Jaden: Will YOU go and see Jesus some day?
Me: I sure hope so!
Jaden: Why do I have to stay with Jesus?
–another deep breath. What do I say? How do I explain the finality of death to my little Jaden?
Me: Well Jesus loves you SO much that when he sees you he’ll want to keep you forever.
Jaden: When I die, I want to go to New York … forever! Oooo It’s a bus!
And there you have it. As quickly as our conversation about faith and afterlife started, it ended – in New York.