Had she harbored some design for what she said, I would not have been so shocked. If she had been talking about wanting something from down here--say, her great-grandmother's dusty old hourglass or that little sculpted peasant from Brazil--I would have given it up, anything at all, for that matter.
Besides, my granddaughter is not that wiley. Had she wanted something, she would have asked, straight out, "Papa, may I have this little sheep here?" and I wouldn't have--I couldn't have--said no. She is, after all, my granddaughter, my only granddaughter.
But what she said didn't have an agenda, nor was she being cute or coy or cunning. We'd come down into the basement here together because I wanted to grab a camera, and she was standing beside me, in a kind of vacant awe, gazing at the detritus all around her here in the basement.
That's when she said it, somewhat haltingly. "Papa," she said, pulling the hair back out of her eyes, "there's just so much stuff down here." In a kind of awe, really. She said what she did because what she saw before her was, simply, something remarkable. And then, "What are you going to do with all of this when you die?"
Not a bit rude or presumptuous, just honest awe.
I just shook my head. "I don't know, my dear," I told her.
That I'm still laughing doesn't mean that I don't have to think more seriously about cleaning house.
Nonetheless, she gets minor prophet status today for such a grave warning.
And my morning thanks.