Conversation with a child

0033_Conversation with a child

He glanced up from his toys one afternoon and asked me, “Momma, was I here when you were born?”

I looked at him – my sensitive, thoughtful, three-year-old son – and answered, “No, honey, you weren’t here when I was born.”

He considered this for a moment, then asked, “Was I here when Daddy was born?”

“No, sweetheart,” I responded, “you weren’t here.”

Another pause. “Was I here when Sissy was born?” he asked, meaning Margaret, his much-adored, six-year-old big sister.

“No, James,” I said, looking gently into his wide, brown eyes. “You weren’t here when Sissy was born. You hadn’t been born yet.”

A lengthy silence ensued. Then, “Momma?”

“Yes?”

“Did you miss me when I wasn’t here?”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

I can’t count the number of times this sweet, existential, innocent question has echoed back to me over the years, nor can I recall precisely how I responded as I pulled my darling boy into my arms to cuddle him close.  I do know how my heart answers every time — even now, though he’s grown and gone:

Oh, my precious child, yes. Yes, I did.

4 thoughts on “Conversation with a child

  1. This makes me think of how I knew our family wasn’t complete yet when we had a son and a daughter. I was missing someone else. Thanks for making me smile.

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