"Can I drink coffee when I get older?"
"Can I have a truck when I get older?"
- Sounds good - why not?
"Can I drive a motorcycle when I get older?"
- Well, ultimately, this will be your choice to make when you are older . . . [Bug usually chimes in with a question about when exactly he can ride a motorcycle. When he's 16? When he's 17?] . . . when you are about thirty, you can decide for yourself if you would like to ride on a motorcycle with a helmet even though you understand how risky it is to ride a motorcycle.
Bug: "That sounds exciting."
Me: "Oh really? Oh that's good! Yes, it will be exciting and so fun to have your boy party with Daddy. [Technically, it will make me very sad, but I will follow your lead on this one and pretend that it is going to be a very exciting time for us.]"
Squish: "Can I go on the plane with you when I get older?"
Me: "Of course! That would be so great! [So, so great. I wish I could take you now, but it is hard for me to imagine what would I do with a two-year-old in a room full of board members and corporate governance experts. When you're eight maybe? But then where will you go? Not in the meetings with me. So I guess [my husband] will have to come, too. But I can't imagine he will want to do that. This feels very complicated.]
Bug: "Yeah! Can I go when I get older, too? Like when I'm six and a half?"
Me: "Sure! [At this point, I felt all the awful feelings. All of them. The pre-guilt for leaving. Also some crazy version of pre-pre-guilt for a fake future of work trips even though I am pretty sure they will not remember a single word of this conversation or hold me to it.]
That was a few days ago.
Now I am home and don't travel again until early September. When I get older.