Last night, in the darkness of Luke's room he asked, "Is the future the things that will happen?"
Pause. "And the past is things that have happened?"
Pause. "And so what are the things that are happening right now?"
"That's called the present."
"Oh. The present." Pause. "So in the present you are laying with me in my bed."
Pause. "And in the future you will go away."
I imagined myself getting out of his bed as soon as he got sleepy and crawling into my own. "Yes."
Again a pause. And then in a sweet, matter-of-fact voice, "And in the future you might die."
Pause. "Yes." I didn't feel like arguing the point. And he did say might.
He gave me one his cuddly hugs and sighed.
"Or in the future the sun might blow up."
"It might have already blown up in the past, mom, but we don't know that yet because it takes time for us to see what's happening from far away."
Physics, even at the kindergarten level, just doesn't make much sense to me. I wonder sometimes what kind of sense my kids are making of all these cancer events.
I hadn't talked prognosis with any of them, just told them of the possibility that the surgery would not make the cancer go away forever. Last month as we talked about my nephew's prognosis James perked right up. "Prognosis? What is that?"
"I guess it's like your chances of making it."
"So, what do they say about yours?"
"Well, about 20% survive 5 years."
"Oh, that's good! We can look on the bright side of that!" But his eyes started to blink quickly, and he turned away. Even a 4th grader (maybe especially a 4th grader) knows what 20% looks like.
I wonder how all this will look years from now when the present is the past and we are seeing what happened from far away. It should clear things up. Unless of course, it blows us up.