My friends Stankovics are blessed with six and a half years old daughter and a son, still a toddler.
Lucia has started school last year, she is a bright, healthy, beautiful, happy and creative child – one of those kids where i on occasions wish i had one of my own.
So, today we ran errands with her mom Marina and afterwords went to pick up Lucia from school and her little brother from kindergarten.
Before that we had one of those prolonged existential conversations, like two women who are really close can have and it’s a phenomena unto itself, i’d say.
Women have their own way of going on about things – and it’s a combo of deep empathy, psychoanalysis, self- help and a good part of irony, filled with digressions on bad hair days and new books – all of it placed in a global context where one’s personal situation is viewed as a part of a bigger picture and its inseparable constitute… or something like that, if you know what i mean.
Like, we’d start from shaken economy, than discuss how it influences fashion – as it always does – then continue to the impact it all has on our respective lives and the other way around – what we can do from our respective micro-cosmoses to improve the world around us … and our own selves.
And these can get quite exhausting, as they are not easy little talks; when two or more women talk in Balkans – it’s way more like an intensive of Enlightenment, which deep down those conversations truly are.
And then you have a lot of your own suppressed stuff coming out – when you open up to a friend – see, for some reason, we don’t go to therapists here, that’s the role your good friends have in your life, they go with you through your garbage and help you sort it out the best they can.
So, at the moment we went to pick up the kids we were both pretty worn down from the ‘intensive’ we held beforehand… and then the smiling little angels appeared and even i, who don’t really have the maternal instinct and never heard the infamous biological clock ticking – even i was overwhelmed with such joy upon seeing them that all the challenges we discussed earlier seemed totally irrelevant and unimportant.
People who see auras say children have that yellow color in theirs… i don’t see it but i feel such joy and happiness around them that it’s close to impossible to convey it verbally; they simply make me absolutely relaxed and happily excited about everything – like they are.
On our way back, in the car, Lucia starts speaking of a friend’s dog and how she loves him, i nod in comprehension and listen to her with genuine interest, adding that i had a dog and can relate. Now, Lucia knows i live with a cat, so she gets curious where the doggy went.
I explain that the dog had very long life in dog years and that she had passed away.
And then she asks: “But where did she go after she passed away?”
I answer: “To the Heaven for doggies and kitties.”
“What’s Heaven?” Lucia asks.
At this point her mom gives me that look where i get it they haven’t discussed these subjects before.
The situation is tricky. The child will remember what you tell them – and you really need be careful, but then you have to keep in mind their parents’ believes too, so not to cause some kind of conflict.
Marina nods, she trusts i can do it the right way. Now this is a big one!
I say: it’s a place where we all go after we die.
She asks: what’s death?
I breath in deeply and answer: it’s what happens after the soul leaves the body.
“Aha”, she continues, showing growing interest in the conversation.
I say:”see, four of us are in the car now, we are driving home…” Lucia nods with understanding.
I continue:” So, the body to the soul is what this car is to us – a vehicle. At some point of time, this car will get old and weary and we will replace it; the same with the soul – when it has done its homework here, it will go on, leaving the body behind.”
“Aha.” She has this serious expression, you can read on her face she is doing some serious thinking. After a while, follows another question:
“What’s that place like, the Heaven?”
“Well, we don’t know much about it – except that it’s really good there and that everyone is happy”, i reply.
Lucia insists that i tell her more of that place, i tell her it doesn’t really matter – what matters is the life we have now and the way we live it.
More thought through questions follow and, after having received answers she found satisfying, Lucia concludes: “I get it – i will live a long life and i will do many things while here, then after having done the homework my body will rest here and my immortal soul will go to an even better place… Yay!”
Marina and i look into each other’s eyes, as she is holding the wheel, she shows me thumb up while i breath the sigh of relief.