My kids are amazing. Connor and Erin are celebrating the first day of their holidays by helping me do some cleaning. I'm cleaning out the fridge and freezer while Erin cleans and scrubs the pantry and Connor (who is having a Particularly Bad Day) is cleaning the lounge-room and vacuuming.
This is lovely in and of itself, but what I'm particularly enamoured with is their conversation. While listening to "The Time Warp" the conversation turns to sad songs. Erin turns and asks me "Do you have to have your wedding song as a funeral song?" I say no, not at all. "Great, because I'd really like 'Running Up That Hill' for my funeral song, but something different for my wedding." She goes on to tell me why she loves this song and what it would mean to her to have it played at her funeral. (and it must be the Placebo version.)
Ooookay. My 12 year old is thinking so far ahead with her life that she's thinking about death, but is hazy about the "happily ever after".
Continuing with the theme, Connor offers his preference. "I've decided on 'Hoppipolla'"* he tells us. "It's got me through a lot, lately, and I want people to be happy and sad at the same time."
Now, I have to admit, Connor's choice doesn't surprise me. Earlier this year Connor asked first me and then a doctor if he was going to die. Yes, we assured and reassured him that he wouldn't, but I know he's thought about it. I just hadn't realised how much.
The direction of the conversation would have worried me but for one thing. Within 2 minutes, during "American Pie", they were discussing the names of their future children. Erin has decided on Bridgette and Bethany Battersby. Yeah, notice the surname. That, I'm told, is deliberate. "My daughters will be having my surname, whether I'm married or not."
I'm quietly proud. I really don't believe women should change their surnames when they're married but my daughter has carried this belief a step further and is embracing it for her daughters too. Whether she holds onto this view in the face of the future Mr Not-Good-Enough-For-My-Daughter's own belief system remains to be seen, but at least she's thinking about it.
Oh, and Connor has decided on Jordan, Isaac, Sarah and Bethany. Again, I'm quietly pleased. Connor isn't thinking about death ALL the time, and if you know my son, you'll know that this is quite a relief :) (When asked about the two of them each having a child called Bethany, they shrugged. "I don't see how it will be a problem," Connor said, and Erin agreed. Alrighty, then.
Here's to all possible futures.
*I wanted to embed the videos for both songs but it would only let me put in one or the other, so I decided to use links instead.