"If you could ride on a cloud, where would you go?"
This question is posted on the door of the PreK classroom. The children's answers are quoted underneath.
"I would go to Grandma's house." ~ Jayden
"I would go to Disneyland." ~ Zach
"I would go to the zoo." ~ Amanda
And then there's this one:
"I would take my mom and Tuck and we would go to the Kingdom of God for a visit with my daddy." ~ Tyler
I can't say I use the phrase 'Kingdom of God' very often (or ever, really), but we talk about heaven a lot. It's a very real - longed for - place for us.
My children are perhaps more comfortable than you are with the word 'died.' It's because I taught them to say it. Anything else is intangible, painting a shade on what is true, what happened in our home.
It's part of my job as a widowed, single mom: to teach them the skills to tell what happened.
("Passed away" is a gentle phrase that really means nothing to me.)
This isn't just my story. It's theirs. Their daddy died. And if I don't give them words to talk about it, then they won't know how to say it. It's part of my job as a widowed, single mom: to teach them the skills to tell what happened, to tell their story, to tell the truth.
I read that and thought to myself, Goal accomplished. My little boy can tell his story. Other children make plans to go to Grandma's, Disneyland or the zoo. We make those plans too.
But Tyler's not afraid to toss heaven into the list. "My Daddy is there."
As a bonus, I appreciate that he wants to take Tuck and me with him.
On our visit.
To the 'Kingdom of God.'