Friday, May 21, 2010

The Afterlife: Babies vs. Angels

My six-year-old son Cracky was staring at his sister as she breastfed the other day.

"I wish I was a baby," he said.

"So you could breastfeed?" I asked, stating the obvious.

"Yeah. And so you could hold me like that. I wish me and Gracie were both babies."

"That would be a lot of work for me!"

"I wish when we died we could come back as babies," he added.

"There are actually some people who believe that's exactly what happens," I said, surprised that my son had come up with reincarnation all on his own.


"Sure. Some Buddhists believe in that. It's called 'reincarnation.'"

"Reincarnation? Jesus thinks when you die, you're dead."

"Um, I think he actually thinks you go to heaven when you die," I said, trying to stifle a laugh.

"What's heaven?"

"I think it's some place in the clouds where you get to go and live when you die."

"Do you get to be a baby?"

"I don't know. I don't think so." I cocked my head and thought it over. I half-considered telling him you get to be whatever you want when you go to heaven, or that you get 40 virgins, but I figured I shouldn't say too much about something I really didn't know for certain.

"I want to come back to earth and be a baby. And I want you to come back and be a baby too. Maybe we can both come back and be babies at the same time?"

"Maybe we can. The Buddha believed that we never die."

"Because we come back as babies?"

"Well, that's one way. Will you remember when I die, that I'm not really dead? That I'll live forever?"

"Yep. You'll be somebody's baby somewhere."



  1. If Cracky writes a book someday, I'll buy it.

    And I like his version of the world. Babies-1, Angels-0.

  2. That's so sweet, and not in a way that makes me want to gag, at all. I feel all warm and fuzzy now, and I kind of want to hug someone. He's such a great boy.

  3. I hope so much that, when she starts talking more, my child inspires me the way your child inspires . . . well . . . me.

  4. I want to come back as a sloth... frankly, I need the rest.

  5. If Tiebtan monks show up in your town -- they are looking for Cracky.

  6. If Tiebtan monks show up in your town -- they are looking for Cracky.

  7. Is there anything more benevolent than to wish upon someone that they be somebody's baby when they die?

  8. He's so sweet. I think he's going to grow up to be a famous philosopher.

  9. I don't know if it's because I'm in a "funny" mood right now (funny meaning sensitive) but this made me cry. I'm sobbing right now. That kid is awesome. For real. BTW, I never comment, but I do read all your posts and simply adore you and your life. And your writing.

  10. someone's baby...i like that

  11. That is really a wonderful thought on his part. And very wise of you to leave his afterlife options open by not defining too much!

  12. I'm with Robert. Sloths are my favorite animals.

  13. The uncluttered mind of a child.

    Snuggle him up.

  14. Jesus vs. The Buddha as a topic cracked me up.

  15. I <3 Cracky and the fact that he is so spiritual. I think in Buddhism, aren't babies born with the purest hearts and minds? I think that's why children are extra wonderful.
    The "somebody's baby" reminds of that Fast Times at Ridgemont High song and now it will be stuck in my head all day! Yippee.

  16. Hi Mandy,
    Thank you for sharing.

  17. That Cracky! He's a deep thinker!

  18. So interesting. I wonder what other introspective thoughts he has running around up there in that little head.

  19. Ha!

    Cracky's going to drive his teachers crazy. He is going to be too smart for them.

    (I wish I was a baby, too.)

  20. This makes me want to hug something...

  21. I think that Cracky is already a wise sage. And I think the fact that he wants to come back as a baby has a lot to say about the kind of mother you are. Wanting to be a baby again may have a lot to do with the type of love he has received so far. So well done - on all counts!

  22. Cracky is way too old for 6 years.

  23. haha awwww that's some pretty grown up convo right there. At that age I was thinking of only killing the Decepticons with my kick ass Transformers. And none of them got to be babies whatsoever because they were mean.

  24. Freaking adorable.

    He totally made Buddha look like a moron.

    Or at least a baby.

  25. I am weeping over the sweetness and clearness of the way Cracky sees things.
    I have a feeling, Cracky might have already been here before .. :)

    Happy to have found your blog, Candice

  26. He is something special, that's for sure. I hope he has many teachers around him to keep that mind stimulated!

  27. What a wonderful thought. That was some pretty deep thinking from your little guy :-)