There were things he had to know. And so he bent his head near the washing machine with mine and asked.
“What is dessert? Is it a fruit or a vegetable?”
He thought a sec.
“Or is it a protein?”
His eyebrows crinkled an hour later. “How did God make seeds?”
At which time we all slumped into thought before shrugging, “Indeed. How did He?”
The shiny Tampax box on the wall in the women’s restroom didn’t squeak past his notice.
And so I explained in a private whisper–my lips to his ear—that it holds the pads that women need sometimes.
The light in eyes grew bright. “You mean the ones that women sit on?”
I nodded. And he gripped my hand with new energy. “I can’t wait to tell everyone!”
There was no noise as we sifted through the bucket of beads for the brown ones. Just the rain whapping the house and our own breathing. Until he asked…
“How does a baby come out? I mean, like, where does it come out?”
The beads fell through his fingers. As he bent his lips upside down, his bottom lids gathered with tears, “Why does God create people, if we just have to die?”
Only it was his sister who offered her hand on his shoulder, his sister who said, “we know Jesus, bud, so we don’t have to worry about dying. This is only our body.” She gestured to the three of us. “It doesn’t live forever. The ‘real’ us–what’s inside–gets to live with Jesus forever.”
And now my eyes are wet.