Last night I was trimming Arthur's fingernails before he went to bed. I sat on the toilet with the garbage can between my knees and he stood to the side of me with his little hand outstretched. We were in Mike and my bathroom since we couldn't find a pair of clippers in the kid's bathroom. (shocking, I know)
Next to the toilet, hanging on the wall is some kind of contraption I bought when Bob and I lived in Portland that holds all my jewelry. The earrings nest in individual indentations and the necklaces and bracelets hang from little posts at the bottom. Arthur gazed at the necklaces while I trimmed up his nails and babbled about my memories of my dad (his grandpa) trimming my nails on Saturday nights before church the next morning and how he would sit on the toilet, just like I was right now, with the garbage can between his knees to catch the fallen nails.
Arthur asked if he could wear one of the necklaces and I said "no", explaining the necklace had been my grandmother's and it had been a gift from my grandfather to her and after she died I got it and I wore it at Mike and my wedding. He wanted to know which necklace I wore for "his daddy's wedding" so I carefully removed the fresh water pearl necklace that my dad brought all of us girls home after one of his business trips to Japan so Arthur could look at it. Then Arthur asked me about the necklace I had made from Bob and my wedding rings, so we talked about that for a moment. Then he asked about a locket I have that a friend's mom gave me when I graduated from college.
Arthur began to rank the items in order of importance.
While he did this ranking and confirming with me which ones he could wear and which ones he couldn't he suddenly said; "When I have children they won't ever meet my daddy."
"No, they won't, unfortunately," I agreed.
"So, they won't have a grandpa like I have a grandpa."
"Well, they'll have Mike, and he will be their grandpa," I explained.
"Will I tell them that he's their step-grandpa?" he wondered.
"You can explain whatever you want to them, but this is a long time away, we don't have to figure out what your children will call Mike tonight."
"But my children will call you grandma, like I call my grandma, grandma, right?"
"Will my children call my grandpa grandpa when he sees them, just like I do?"
Up to this point I was enjoying the conversation, thinking it was cute and funny and fascinating, but now I began to get a little melancholy. It's doubtful that Arthur's grandpa will ever meet Arthur's children.
Shit, more death to come, more grieving for myself and my children. Man, can't we get a pass on this one? Haven't we dealt with enough already? Can't everyone just live forever?
Well, as "they" say; grief is the price you pay for love. And right now Arthur isn't focused on his losses or his potential grief, he seems to be enjoying all the love he has surrounding him and how he might explain it all to his future children one day.
More power to you Arthur, live in the moment.
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