How He’ll Remember Me

Lyle has been thinking about death a lot for, oh, the past year or so.  It’s the age.  We went through it with Baxter and here we are again.  (I can still see 4-year old Baxter getting right in newborn Lyle’s face and sweetly cooing, “I love you Baby Lyle, and I will always love you…UNTIL YOU DIE, BABY LYLE…”  I’m not sure I’ve recovered from that one.)

Of course, the reality of death is heightened for him these days; he attended his first funeral when my grandfather passed away a few weeks ago.

Tonight as I cuddled with him in his bed before saying good-night, he leaned over and said, “I love you, Mommy,” to which I replied, “I love you, too, Sweetie.”

A moment later he said, very seriously, “You know, when we die we won’t be able to hear each other say I love you anymore.” [Insert stifled sob here.]  I told him that while that was technically true,  we’d always be in each other’s hearts and that we’d remember each other’s voices and still be able to hear the words in our heads anytime we wanted.

He thought about this.  “Yeah, I can hear your voice right now.”

Then, with excitement,  “Like — I can hear your voice in my head sayin’ to Daddy, ‘Get me a tall skinny hazelnut latte at Starbucks’!

11 responses to “How He’ll Remember Me

  1. So, clearly, you are the right person to ask: What does “skinny” mean at Starbucks?

  2. Fat free!

  3. classic Lyle. 🙂 For some reason C skipped right over wanting a death explanation, but I remember vividly fearing it at that same age.

  4. Dear god! That is perfect!

  5. Oh, dear lord! I was all sniffly as I read along…right up to the skinny hazelnut latte. Then, I spewed my coffee all over my dining room table. *sigh* *shakes head*

    Your boys have impeccable comedic timing. Wonder where they get that? 😉

  6. God … it’s a good thing kids are so damn funny, or they’d either break your heart or turn you homicidal. At least that’s how it is with my kids. CLASSIC post.

  7. It is a classic, and though I don’t know Lyle, it strikes me as an example of those wonderful simultaneous processes that kids have. The philosophical and then, immediately the pragmatic connection. Must bring parents to the sadness, but quickly jolts them back into the real world of the absurd.

    I love it; thanks for sharing.

  8. “Until you die, Baby Lyle…” I still haven’t recovered from that. So funny.

    I don’t know if I want to know what my kids would remember me saying. Maybe a coffee order isn’t so bad.

  9. upsidebackwards

    Sooo funny! I wonder what mine would hear me saying?

    My eldest was 4 when baby brother arrived, and was disappointed – she wanted a sister. I asked her one day to pick up something so I wouldn’t trip over (I was carrying him). “Mummy, if you fell over, you might get hurt? …And baby might get hurt?… And he might die?… Then you might have another baby, and it might be a girl.” Seriously freaked-out parents, we were for a little while! She was just taking the thought to its logical conclusion, though, not plotting his demise.

  10. sheshoshanorii


    I love that Lyle. This story will be making the rounds in Libertyville for some time to come, that I know for sure.

  11. I like the sweet and sincere, ending with the honest comedy that our kids often give us. Nice post.

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