Lisa asks: Do you think about what the future holds for your kids?

If you follow her on Twitter you'll know that Lisa was deeply affected by — what else? — the finale of a popular TV series. Read on

Peyton, age one

For those of you who haven’t noticed yet, I’m uber-sappy. (Yeah, I’m sarcastic and have a little bite, but for the most part I’m a sad little mushy sap.) If you follow me on Twitter (I’m at @lisavandegeyn) or you’re friends with me on Facebook, you’ll know that Peter and I have been watching Six Feet Under on DVD. (We’re a little late to the party, I know. The critically acclaimed series aired on HBO from 2001 to 2005.) On Monday night we watched the series finale titled “Everyone’s Waiting” and holy cow, I bawled (and bawled and bawled some more. In fact, Peter’s eyes welled and he was a mere sniffle away from shedding tears). I haven’t been able to get it out of my head. I watched it again (um…three times…) yesterday and, no big shock, got all choked up.

For those of you who haven’t seen it, no spoilers here. But the show takes place in a funeral home and people die. And in the end, everyone dies. (Like in, well, real life.)

I am known to take my TV viewing too seriously (and this isn’t the first time I’ve cried during a show. I was very emotional when Cliff and Clair Huxtable danced off The Cosby Show set and when — wait, I’m getting verklempt — the gang at West Beverly High (Beverly Hills, 90210, of course) donned their caps and gowns and graduated). Tonight while making dinner I told Peter that I had a particularly crappy, unproductive day, and I blamed it on thinking about Six Feet Under. 

Me: “That finale was absolutely, totally incredible.”

Peter: “Yeah, it was really good.”

Me: “I shouldn’t watch stuff like that; I could burst into tears any minute thinking about it. It really shows you that death happens. Everyone dies.”

Peter: “Seriously? Like you didn’t realize that before watching Six Feet Under?

Me: (Under my breath: Smart ass.) “That’s not what I mean. It makes you think that one day everyone close to you will be gone. Our parents, our siblings, each other, our kids, me. At some point we’re going to have to go through watching our family die, and our kids are going to have to watch us die.”

Peter: (Silence.) “Addy, eat your nachos.”

Here’s my point. It reminded me of something my mother said over the holidays about that picture above. Peyton is really into pushing things around from one room to the next these days. If she can move it, she’ll push it. Here she’s pushing Addy’s little pink chair across my kitchen floor; at my parents’ house she pushes around one of those toddler-walker-car toys. We were sitting and drinking our coffee at my kitchen table and my mom said that she loves watching Peyton pushing things around because — great, now I’m in tears and can’t see my laptop screen — when Peyton does it, my mom thinks she looks like an old lady pushing her walker around, and it makes her happy that even though she won’t be around to see my kids when they’re old ladies, she feels like Peyton will have a good, long, full life because she can almost see what Peyps will look like when she’s shuffling around with a walker in her nineties.  

(Question: Am I the only one sniffling here?)

When I think about Addyson and Peyton growing up, I can’t stand to think about us or our families not being around to watch every minute. I get what my mom meant — there’s nothing I want more than for my girls to be happy and healthy and live a long, full life. And I hope that one day, 90 years from now, Addy and Peyton are hanging out with their walkers watching their great-grandchildren play. I just can’t fathom them being old ladies and me not being with them, even though I know that’s the way it is and should be. (Circle of life and all that.)

Do you ever think about what the future holds for your kids? When you think about what’s to come way down the road, how do you see them? Ever wonder how their lives will unfold or picture them when they’re old and grey? (Come on, folks. Me and my apparently equally sappy mother can’t be the only ones.)

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