1. On Super Tuesday, in the car after school

Laura: “Mom!”

Me: “What?”

Laura: “You’re not going to believe this!”

Me: “What?”

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?”

Me: “Both.”

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.”

19 comments on “List Day Twelve: Conversations with Laura”

  1. Billy Ray took the mullet to a whole new level, didn’t he?!?
    (and I still giggling over Jenn’s comment…I had forgotten about that one!!)

    I would love to read separate books…but, no…I have to read books about beetles, bugs, larvae and other disgusting “boy” stuff. I would love to go back to “The Barnyard Dance” stage of books…at least then, we could sing too!!!

  2. The girl is a genius. A genius in an 8 year old body. She’s got smarts, poise, manners, good parents, and smokin’ cute pink cowgirl boots.

    Please let her hang out with my kids some more.

  3. This is exactly what it is like reading with my daughter. I will even put my book down to wait for the next comment/question and she never says a word until I start reading again. =)

    And those conversations are the kind that make my head hurt some days, but I still love them.

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