Friday, March 26, 2010

Eggs, Basil and Eternity

I love cooking with Berit. When I was little my mom worked full time and on weekends, too, and we didn't have a lot of time for that sort of thing. When I got pregnant I knew that was one thing I wanted to be sure to make time for -- bonding in the kitchen. Because let me tell you, I don't like to cook and I am not good at it (yes, I realize the two probably go hand-in-hand). I wanted the girls to have a love for cooking that goes beyond putting a meal on the table or even the hunt for the most nutritious ingredients (something I do enjoy).

Marta is just starting to have the patience to stand at a chair while we're baking, mostly because she knows there's a sugary beater in it for her at the end. Berit, though, has always been into it. So today when she had the option of going outside with Trevor and Marta or staying in to make a frittata with me, I was glad she stayed in.

I was chopping onions and she was eating watermelon. She told me that onions smelled like burning toast, and that watermelon and red peppers looked alike but didn't taste alike.

And then she said, "Mom, when our story is over will we all be fairies?"

I said, "What story?"

And she said, "You know. This one. Ours." And she swept her arms around, apparently encompassing our lives.

"No," I said, "when we die we'll go to heaven."

She immediately said "No, I don't want to die."

And so we got into the conversation about life and death, and heaven and God and Mary and Jesus and all the people we love, and a long long long life.

"Mom, after I get married will I die?"

So we talked about marriage and children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. And doing everything you've ever wanted to do in a life before you die.

She wondered if Marta would die, and with my heart in my throat I told her that yes, we all would someday, and the entire time I prayed fervently in my head, "PleaseGoddon'tletthemdie."

She went back to eating her watermelon, so I dropped it and kept chopping. Then Marta came in and ran up to Berit, and Berit said, "Marta, someday you're going to die but it will be OK because you'll go to heaven and God and Mary and Jesus, and me and Mommy and Daddy and everyone will be there!"

And Marta thought it was the funniest thing she'd ever heard, and they both ran up to the Princess Tower to play.

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