I got a call last night, just as i was finishing up the first of too many drinks. Saturday is my one night a week that i get to pretend i am unshackled, so i take full advantage, and pay the price when i have to show up at work the next morning. The call was my daughter and her grandma -- trying to figure out why the kiddo was so upset, and had been all day. The deal was, she was having her first musings about death.
Yesterday morning she and i got into some argument or another about some random thing. In the midst of it i fed the dog, giving the pooch a little love and a pat on the head. A moment later, in comes the kiddo, arms crossed dramatically, lip sticking out emphatically, saying "you love Libby more than me."
As i lifted her onto her usual tooth-brushing perch next to the bathroom sink, i explained to her that she was my daughter, who would be around for the rest of my life, and that Libby would not be around forever... i said i loved them both but there was nothing like the love of a mother and daughter. From this, she gleaned, and ruminated all day on the fact that Libby was going to die. Like right now. Like tomorrow. So grandma called me after hearing about this all day, while the two of them were supposed to be having their quality time. The telephone exchange went something like this:
"Mama, is Libby going to die?"
"Yes baby, but not right now. Dogs just don't live as long as humans do."
"Well when is she going to die?"
"Not for a really long time, baby. She's going to be with us for a long time still."
"Well how old will I be when she dies?"
"You will be a teenager. Like 12 or 14."
"(Sniffles) Well why does she have to die? When is she going to die? I have to come home so I can be with her..."
"Baby, she's going to be around for a very long time. You will be an older kid before you have to say goodbye to her, don't worry. When you have a dog you have to be ready to say goodbye to them someday, even though you love them." And on and on with the same careful, not-very- hopeful speech, for several more minutes.
I don't know how well she took it after we had that little talk. I, on the other hand, forgot about it for the rest of the night, and abused myself well and good at the bars, hanging out with the friends of a geeky freaky dude who believes in alien abductions -- and bases most of his hobbies and social networking on that belief. I've decided there is one good thing about being very mean to your body and drinking way too much, besides the highs you get from thinking you're o-so-clever with your drunk talk. For the next couple days you tend to be very nice to your body to recover -- drinking lots of water, avoiding toxins, and getting lots of rest. Perhaps i could do better by not swinging so high and low -- but that's just not how i roll. Besides, i have a wedding to attend in a few days, and this maid of honor has to honor the bride by getting good and shitty before i make my speech. (O-so-clever with my drunk talk...) So let's chalk it up to training.
When i got to work today i told my friend the story about the dog and the kid... and her response was, "drama queen." But the kid is really more of a drama princess. There's only one queen in this house.