Existential Questions from a 4 Year Old
August 1, 2015, 2:33 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

The other day my Tiny Human came up to me clutching a book; it was our wedding album. “Can we look at this, mommy?” We did. I sat next to her on the couch as she held the book in her lap, flipping through the bright memories. “You look like a princess, mommy,” she said. “And look, Daddy has hair.”

As we neared the end of the album, she seemed to be growing upset. She was flipping through the pages quickly and a lip jutted out. “What’s wrong? Don’t you want to look at the rest of the pictures?”

“I can’t find a picture of me.” Oh dear. 

“You weren’t there  yet.”

“Where was I?” Oh dear.

“You weren’t born yet.”

“Oh so I was in your tummy?” OH DEAR.

“No. You weren’t in my tummy.”

“Then where was I?”

And then I said the dumbest thing I have maybe ever said to my child:

“You didn’t exist yet.”

She sat there. Blinked a few times. Asked what that meant.

As I tried to explain to my 4 year old the concept of not existing, I realized that there was no way for this Tiny Human to understand a world that didn’t have her in it. The abstract image of me existing and her father existing and her not being there with us was too big for her.

And then I thought of something else.

I couldn’t grasp it either.

As I looked at the glossy images from my wedding; of us dressed up and laughing and having the time of our lives, I realized that she should have been there.

That she was there. 

Because what are our children, if not a physical manifestation of our happiness? Of our joy? Of our happiest days?

Tiny Human, you have always been there. You have always existed. Don’t worry.


1 Comment so far
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Oh Man. excuse me while i go cry and hug my baby for the next 3 days straight

Comment by Sue

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