Last year, when my four-year-old son, Asher, first discovered that he would one day die, he cried for days. There was a point where I couldn’t get him to leave the house because he was lying on the floor, mourning his own impending death.
Every morning my four-year-old daughter, Sydney, drags a chair into her closet and plucks a dress off of the rack. I try to lean her in other directions —“Why don’t we try shorts today?”—but Sydney’s stubborn. And I think she deserves the freedom to choose what she wants to wear.
“I hate you, dad!” Asher shouted to me in the kitchen, storming out for dramatic effect. My son was angry. He was having an existential crisis, where he couldn’t make sense of his place in the world, how and when we die, and what it all means.