Yesterday, Joey asked me: "When I'm daddy's age, will daddy still be alive?" I gave it some thought. John was 33 when Joey was born so when our 7-year-old is 40, like his daddy, John will be 73.
I don't really know if he'll be alive then—who can tell what might happen in a span of so many years—but I sure am counting on John being around, so I said: "Yep, he'll still be alive."
"So, I've got like a million years to spend with him then, right?" replied Joey.
"You've got lots of time," I assured him. And then he told me about his grand dream.
"I wish I could do magic and make everyone I know who is dead come back to life," Joey told me. "Then they would never die again, and I would get to see them. But if they wanted to go back to being dead, I'd let them go back. You know who would definitely want to go back?"
"Who?" I asked.
"Riley, because Riley never really liked kids." Riley was my mom's dog. He died several years ago. Joey is right—Riley didn’t seem to like kids.
I like Joey's dream. I like that he'd get to see his great grandma again—he only knew her for a short two and a half years. He'd get to meet John's dad too, his grandfather who died two years before he was born. And yes, he could see Riley again. Maybe Riley would like Joey better, now that he's a bigger guy.
Such a simple idea—just bring back the people we miss and keep them alive forever, unless they want to go back—from a simple little boy who has no idea just how complicated life can be, a little boy who just wants to spend time with the people who belong to him, forever. I like how he thinks.
Photo: Joey, a million years ago.