As I tucked him in and turned out the light, my five year-old son, his voice heavy with concern, told me he needed to ask me some important questions.
“Yes, of course, you can ask me anything,” I responded, turning my head towards the mass of tousled hair that lay beside me.
“I need to know what my job will be when I grow up. How can I even be a Dad when I am older if I don’t even know what I am going to be yet? What will I be?” he queried, genuinely sounding worried.
My dear and darling Capricorn son; born an old soul, internally and eternally 40 years old. These existential queries are not rare in our household. And with constant talk about COVID-19 over the past few weeks, it is not surprising that he has a lot of worries right now – despite my best efforts to keep things very positive and hopeful. We are all feeling a little uncertain.
I responded, brushing the hair out of his eyes, that he didn’t need to worry about it, that he’s only five years old – that he has years and years of school and learning and fun before he has to decide what he wants to do.
“You know what, there is actually a song about wondering what will happen, that your grandparents used to play for me when I was little. Your uncle and I used to dance around the living room to it – just the same way you dance for me”.
I opened my Spotify app, pausing Greta Gerwig’s Little Women soundtrack momentarily (it is a wonderful instrumental soundtrack for both writing and bedtime) to pull up the song that had immediately sprung to mind.
When I was just a little girl, I asked my Mother what will I be, Doris Day smoothly chirped out of my phone as we both listened in the dark.
“What does that mean? Que Sera Sera?” he asked as Doris and Frank DeVol’s Orchestra continued.
“It means what will be, will be. We aren’t able to predict or know what will happen – so we just have to accept that and be okay with whatever happens.”
“Hmmm…I don’t think I like this song. I want to know the future,” he mumbled tiredly as he rolled over towards the wall, pulling the quilt up to his chin and closing his eyes.
“I know, sweetie.”
I faded the song out wistfully, bits of nostalgia and anxiety combining to dampen the corner of my eyes. I also wish I knew more about the future. I also fall asleep with an internal monologue of unanswered questions. I also am worried.
But there is truth to what Doris says – the future isn’t ours to see and all we can do is really make the most of where we are and who we are with, right now. So, let’s make it count in the best ways we can.