Sometimes, after school, Gooly and I will head to a little stall across the street which serves kick-ass noodles. We are venturing further indeed. It used to be just the 7-eleven where we don't have to cross the main road.
Anyways, he'd cycle and I'd walk. It's about a 10 minutes journey from the lobby to the greetings of "sawadeekrap" from the proprietor of the noodle shop. And it is during this time that we talk about everything, usually with my hand on his shoulder - guiding him as he cycles.
Sometimes he talks about school - about who cried and who was sent to the naughty chair, the jokes that Teacher Ben said..you know, stuff that make me grin.
And then they are times that he surprises me with his general knowledge, like how one has to bake a clay pot before selling it. Bake? Gee, I completely didn't think of that process. And I have no idea where he got that knowledge from.
And then sometimes he touches my heart with topics like death.
"When I am grown up, and working, and having my own money, you will be dead."
*eye brows raise*
"Probably," I said while checking on his expression. He looked nonchalant like he was taking about the death of an ant. He is usually a sensitive boy who cries watching Dumbo and Pooh Bear. So I was a bit surprised about his coolness over the impending death of mine.
And then he tapped on his temple and said, "But I will think of you forever, here.."
Ahhhhh.. I so wanted to hug him but decided against it. I didn't want him to get too sentimental or paranoid or obssessed about deaths. Or to get unneccesarily worrisome.
"But what do you suppose happens when someone dies?" I asked in an equally cool manner as though we were discussing about the weather.
" When you don't take care of yourself, you fall sick.. then you die. You go to a far far place. It's Heeven (Heaven). The angels come to get you.. Or God himself, if He he is not busy.."
That's a mighty good answer, don't you think? I smiled. And kinda looked dazed at the same time. (Where did he get the info?)
I'm glad that he talks comfortably about a subject which is hard to understand, even to adults. His interpretation of death is comforting. Kids .. are they actually emotionally stronger than us adults?
The way back was in silence as I pondered more about deaths - about moms who died young, about the funeral I attended last year..about 2012. And then his sudden shriek brought me back to reality -
"HEY, MOM! That's Ada! Pass me my bubbles!"
What the heck..Let's just live for now.
(In October, the teacher's assistant's mom passed away and she had to return to the Philipines for the wake. I suppose they touched the topic of death in class during her absense or after her return. Otherwise, he wouldn't have such profound answers pertaining to death. Gotta love what the school is teaching.)