As other dads of almost-7-year-olds could confirm, from time to time kids go off on what may seem a philosophical tangent, with no apparent reason at all.
My daughter makes no exception. The other day, while I was driving her to school, she asked me: “Dad, do you know when you are going to die?”
Reisisting the urge to perform some apotropaic act (there is no lack of them in italian culture) I explained her I had no way of knowing how long was I going to live, adding that I hoped to live long but… you never know.
Then I asked her why the question, and - as usual when asked questions like that - she shrugged her shoulders.
Then, after a bit of silence: “Dad, if you are going to die soon, I will finish that videogame for you!”
"What game?" I asked. We often play toghether games suitable for her age, or I watch her playing some browser-based minigame, or she watches me playing something on my own…
"The one with those people with the long scarfs…"
Of course she was referring to Journey - she had seen me playing it some days before; I hadn’t explained her anything about the existential metaphores that make that “game” so beautiful, she had just seen some gameplay, heard the music, and yet somehow the game concept connected with some deep resonances even on a child her age. Or maybe it was just a coincidence and this was just the first videogame coming to her mind? No way to know. I answered something like ”I already finished it, dear… but in a certain sense I have yet to finish it, and I’ll be happy if some day you will finish it for me after I’ll be gone!”
I spent the rest of the day with a lump in my throat.