By Jamillah Gilbert
"Mommy, I'm tired of life!" My five-year old threw up her arms in exasperation and—right there in the middle of the supermarket parking lot—she declared again, "I'm so tired of life!"
I was shocked that my five year-old (any five year-old) would say such a thing.
"What do you mean?" I asked. But I wasn't listening to her response. I was distracted by my other kids—a six year-old, eight year-old, and nine year-old—all standing and shaking their heads in agreement. I thought about what a horrible mom I must have become. There I was, standing before a chorus of youth ready to testify to why they wanted to part company with the living. They didn't know it, but their words hurt. My heart, my stomach were both sick.
I took a deep breath. What could I possibly say that might inspire those withering souls? There, with the lot as my stage, the supermarket my backdrop, and the cars my audience, I stepped up onto my soap box and gave the best motivational speech of my life. Oh, yes! It was powerful.
I reminded my kids that life was like a gift from heaven filled with so many surprises —that they should wake up every morning and joyfully open that gift—and that their dad and everyone else that loved them would be sad to hear they didn't want that gift anymore.
All four stood, wide-eyed and confused. I was convinced they were stunned by the eloquence of my ten-minute oration. I was wrong. My eight year-old spoke.
"Mom, she wasn't talking about that kind of life; she was talking about the cereal called "Life".
I was so embarrassed, I thought I could die!
Jamillah Gilbert resides in Bloomington, Illinois with her husband and four children. She is a freelance writer and teaches at Illinois Wesleyan University. She says that her four kids have provided her so many anecdotal opportunities she had to write them down.