1. On Super Tuesday, in the car after school
Laura: “You’re not going to believe this!”
Laura [aghast]: “Jackie’s a Republican!”
Me: “Jackie is eight.”
Laura: “I know! And she’s a Republican!”
Me: “Laura, you may as well know now, some of the best people are.”
2. Also on Super Tuesday
Laura: “Mom, are you a Decromat?”
Me [hoping she’ll never outgrow saying it just like that]: “Close enough.”
Laura [giggles]: “I meant Democrat.”
3. The other day
Laura: “Mom, am I from your side of the family or Dad’s side?”
Laura: “But am I more from one side or the other?”
Me: “No. Half and half. 50/50. You know that 23 chromosomes came from me, and 23 came from Dad.”
Laura: “I know, but am I more from you because I came out of you?”
Me: “Well, I like to think that means that we have a special bond, but biologically you are 50% from Dad and 50% from me.”
Laura: “But the egg is much bigger than the sperm, so doesn’t that mean I’m more you?”
Me: “Whatever size the egg might be, it can’t be anything but an egg without the sperm.”
Laura: “Good point.”
4. Last night, reading before bedtime
Laura and I were reading in her room before bedtime. When I read with her like this, she often interrupts, and I find myself reading the same words over and over. I was reading A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle. Laura was reading Mad for Miley (i.e., Miley Cyrus a.k.a. Hannah Montana).
The words that I was reading silently in my head are in bold italics. The conversation interrupting my silent reading is in the regular font.
Me [reading quietly]: Any negative emotion that is not fully faced . . .
Laura [aloud]: “Miley’s grandfather was Ron Ray.”
Me: “Oh. Now let me read, okay?” . . . not fully faced and seen for what it is in the moment it arises does not . . .
Laura: “Ron Ray was elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives.”
Me: “Oh. Just read to yourself, okay? And I’ll read to myself.” . . . in the moment it arises does not completely resolve. It . . .
Laura: “Ron Cyrus served eleven consecutive terms. Can politicians do that? Can they serve that many terms?”
Me: “Certain offices have term limits. Like the President. But I don’t know about in the Kentucky House of Representatives. Maybe they still can serve unlimited terms there. Laura, please let me read, okay?” It leaves behind a remnant of pain. Children in particular . . .
Laura: “Ron Ray died of lung cancer in 2006.”
Me: “How sad for Miley. Laura, let’s read quietly together and then talk about whatever we want when we’re done.” Children in particular find strong negative emotions too overwhelming to cope with and tend to try not to . . .
Laura: “What’s a mullet?”
Me [closing my book in defeat]: “Short hair on the sides, front, and top; long in the back.”
Laura: “I love reading with you, Mom.”
Me: “I love reading with you too.”