“Mom, I just have one question.”
He was in the backseat of the car, still consistently the safest place for such fodder. I suspect there is something exponentially safer about hard topics when Mom’s eyes are occupied with the road and other drivers.
“Ask me as many as you want, buddy.”
“Will you still love my dad?”
“Oh, honey, yes. Forever, I will."
I adjusted my mirror so I could see him as he looked out the window.
"Think with me about when you read a book that you love, love, love. You love the characters, the story, the pictures—everything. And then you finish reading that book, and we put it on our bookshelf, and then we go to the library or the bookstore to choose another one, right?”
“Right.” I was speaking the language of my bookworm.
“So, sometimes when you choose the next book, you discover this new book is your favorite too. You still love that book on the shelf, but that story is finished and you know how it ends. It’s time to read a new one.”
"Okay," he said.
“Honey, your dad is like our favorite book on the shelf. We can always love that story, and we can get it down to read it again and again. That was such a beautiful story, always one of our favorites… but that book is finished. We know how it ends, and we can start a new story now.”
"Okay, Mom. Thanks."