Erin threw me for a loop recently. I had gone to fetch her from the evening kids activities at church and while on the way home she piped up:

“What happens when you die?”

So, how do you answer a first-grader when she asks a question like that? What is she really asking? Is it an undertaker sort of question or a metaphysical one?

“Your soul goes to heaven.”

“Wait a minute, what’s a soul?”

“It’s the part of you that goes to heaven.”

“Where’s heaven?”

“Hey! Look at those pretty Christmas lights – I really like those red ones.”

(The old change-the-subject maneuver.) No dice, she was not to be deterred that easily. She kept on:

Yeah, they’re pretty – now wait a minute – go back. What is heaven?”

This went on for some time with her firing deep philosophical questions at me and me dodging them as fast as I could. I’m being a little silly here; I did make the attempt to answer them in simple terms but I’d rather have been talking about something else. I’m not a big fan of philosophical discussions.

As always: parenting is not for sissies.