Did We Just Talk About Death?


the Unreliable Narrator sits on my lap, eating spoonful after spoonful of plain yogurt. (his daddy fed him dinner at 6 pm and then expected the child to go to bed on an empty stomach. what were you thinking, daddy? geez. the child’s hands are cold–he can’t go to sleep hungry.)

Unreliable Narrator

mama? what lasts forever?


hmmmm. diamonds? diamonds are rocks that last forever.

Unreliable Narrator

what else lasts forever?


mommies and how much they love their sons. that lasts forever.

Unreliable Narrator

(licking spoon, then softly)

what about tigers? do tigers last forever?

Mama’s face as she flashes back (quick montage):

  1. Unreliable Narrator in halloween tiger costume
  2. another day, Unreliable Narrator roaring and pawing at the air
  3. Mama roaring and pawing the air and pretend-licking her cub
  4. present moment: Unreliable Narrator in his fleece tiger pajamas on Mama’s lap

Mama kisses the Unreliable Narrator’s sweet, sweet cheek.


do tigers last forever? well, honey, their beauty and their fierceness lasts forever. …but a given tiger? they come and go, honey.

long silence. the Unreliable Narrator turns this over on his tongue.

Mama hugs her boy, grateful to hide her face in his neck.

* * *

did we just talk about death?

and if not, why is my heart breaking a little bit?

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3 thoughts on “Did We Just Talk About Death?

  1. i have chills. the good kine.

    you and UN and the hubby have such an amazing little family.

    thank you for sharing these intimate and wonderful moments.

  2. mayumi,
    i’m glad these moments touch you. i really have no idea how to talk about mortality–mine or his–with a four year old. thing is, we spend the rest of our lives trying to understand it and explain it to ourselves and others.

    thank you, as always, for your comments.

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