Conversations With A Four-Year-Old, Volume Four

So, with all of the celebrity deaths lately (I mean, c'mon--Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson AND Billy Mays? Oh, the humanity!), the subject of death was bound to hit Emmeline's radar eventually. Somehow, Michael Jackson's death made it into her frame of consciousness this week.--I think it has to do with the fact that she absolutely loves Thriller. (I blame her father. And Vincent Price.) So, we got to have the following conversation on the way home from daycare today.

E: Mommy, why did Michael Jackson die?

Me: (Me, thinking to myself, "Oh lord, the death conversation. I'm so not ready for the death conversation. Shouldn't she be having this conversation with a trained professional?") Oh, he was sick honey. Sometimes people get sick and die.

E: Mommy, am I going to die?

Me: No, sweetie. You're not going to die for a long, long time.

E: But who made Michael Jackson die?

Me: What do you mean?

E: Who made him die?

Me: Nobody made him die, honey, he just did.

E: No, somebody made him die! WHO?

Me: (Thinking to myself, "Do I say God? That seems like a pretty warped answer....What in the heck am I supposed to say here? Let's go with an obscure answer.") Fate, honey.

E: Well, then, that Fay's not a very nice person, is she?

Me: Not Fay, Emmeline, Fate. (Thinking to myself, "Okay, now reassure her that Fay's not going to make her die, or we're going to be up all night.") Besides, honey, Michael Jackson was really old. He was 50. (My apologies to everyone for saying 50 is old, including myself. But let's face it--to a four-year-old, that's as old as Methuselah.)

E: Wow. That's really old.

Me: Yep. (Cringing on the inside.)

E: You know, Mr. Snuggles is going to die. He's really old, too. (We're talking about a stuffed animal here.)

Me: He is? How old is he?

E: Thirteen! He could drop dead any minute!

Me: (Thinking to myself, "Change the subject, NOW.") Do you want to hear the Thriller song now? Daddy knows all the words, you know.

E: He does?!? Do you think he would sing it for me?

Me: Sure. Let's go ask him.

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