Admittedly, I don’t always sensor my work conversations when she is around. We were all in the car today when I took a call from a funeral director. He needed me to sign a death certificate.
“When did the patient expire?” I asked.
I jotted a few things on the Starbucks napkin in the console with my eyeliner. I looked into the rearview mirror and caught Hadley’s stunned expression.
“Mom? What does “expire” mean?”Sammy instantly chimed in from the back: “It means gone bad, spoiled, rotten like a festering carcass on the side of the road.”
Thanks Samuel for that eloquent and well timed editorial.
Hadley looked like she might cry.
“Oh Honey, It’s ok, ‘expire’ also means ‘to go to heaven.’”
“You mean die.” She corrects. She is not falling for my sweet talk.
“Well yes,” I said with my most reassuring “it will happen to everyone” voice.
Forget crying, now Hadley was in the throws of a full blown panic attack.
“Sweetie! Calm down! It’s ok, no one you know is going to die anytime soon!” I did not think it was appropriate to mention “unless Mommy get’s her wish and Lucy goes to doggie heaven some time soon.”
“MOM! YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW! MS. LAMMEY SAID TOMORROW, WE ARE HAVING VISITORS. THEY ARE GOING TO BRING US NEW BACK PACKS AND READ US STORIES. THEY USED TO BE TEACHERS AT OUR SCHOOL…THEY ARE EXPIRED TEACHERS!”
Even the radio in the car was silenced for a second.
Then Sam, once again, offers the blunt reality.
“Uh Hadley, I think those teachers are RETIRED not EXPIRED…not yet anyway…although some of them have got to be pretty ancient…they’re probably going to kick it any day now.”