Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Dearly departed for space

Ana used to hang out with an imaginary boy called Kid who lived in her hand. He liked to put in an appearance on trains and buses  If it was a particularly exciting train or bus ride, sometimes Kid's mama would come out too (in the other hand).

Kid wandered off into the mists of growing older - to that great cabinet in the sky where all wonderful memories go that parents struggle to keep. In the end, it was just his time and we had to let him go.  

Not rocket science. 
Now Ana has found a new imaginary boy called Cookie Banane. Conveniently, Cookie was born on the same day as Ana. He loves cookies and bananas, and is in all other ways a pretty cool kid. 

The other day, Ana told me that Cookie Banane is in fact her brother, and that he comes from the farthest reaches of outer space. Since Ana used to have an older sister living on the moon, I wasn't completely shocked. Then she told me that Cookie Banane is in heaven.  

A memory returned to me in a flash, of all the childhood nights that I tried desperately to keep my sleepy eyelids open, terrified that I would fall asleep and never wake up. As a kid, I wasted a lot of valuable Barbie playtime worrying about the Great Beyond. 

Our new drive to town passes by a final resting place, where engraved stone angels wait quietly in the prairie grass for the living to join them. Ana is curious about the angels. So on a recent drive in we talked about things like time passing on, dust returning, and love living on like starlight. 

She listened to me trying to make sense of the infinite and the impossible for a long time. Eventually she grew bored and realized that we were wasting valuable Barbie playtime, so she pulled out her engineering ancestry to end the conversation.

"Heaven is on the sun," said Ana. "We'll just build a rocket to get there."

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