Sunday, April 13, 2014

Ask Questions and You Might Get Answers . . .

“Mom,” Jesse asks, “Do fish go poops?”

“Yes,” I reply. “They do.”

“Whaaat?” (Incredulity) “How?”

I reach into the corners of my mind – grasping for some small bit of knowledge that might provide the answer he is after -- but the whole of my fish-bodily-functions experience is limited to cleaning the fish bowl of the one or two short-lived goldfish I had as a kid.

Still. I do my best to give a coherent answer.

When I finish, rather than express appreciation for my efforts, he groans, clutches his stomach, and moans, “Ooooh. You shouldn’t have told me that! Now I’m going to have terrible nightmares.”

I shall try to preface future explanations of that nature with a “There are some questions better left unasked, Jesse”.

But I know him. He won’t settle for that. He’ll keep asking -- dooming himself to the nightmares that accompany too much knowing!


It’s early morning. Kids are rushing about, brushing hair, gathering back-packs and trying to get breakfast in their little bellies. I turn from the toaster in time to notice Penny, who is seated at the counter, hair disheveled and school clothes not yet on, lift her cup and plant a big kiss on its side.

“Penny? Did you just kiss your drink of water?” I ask – amused.

“Yes,” she admits. “I also kissed my bagel earlier because it was so good. (Pause.) I was hoping you wouldn’t notice.”


Also, I’ve answered a lot of questions about planets lately. I’ve stumbled my way through multiple explanations as to why the planets don’t simply come crashing into the sun, how they stay going around the sun, what might happen if they DID crash into the sun, and why we would or wouldn’t want them to crash into the sun. But, so help me if I get asked one more time, “But why do we NEED the planets?” I might bang my head into a wall – repeatedly – and start sobbing.

It’s really hard to answer. Give it a shot. I keep trying to explain things about how we probably don’t actually need them – or at least I don’t think we do – would their absence somehow throw our own rotation or pleasant/life-sustaining distance from the sun off? I don’t know, but I’ve tried to tell him how it’s not that we need them, but that they are caught in the suns gravitational pull – strong enough to keep them circling around, but no no, don’t worry, not strong enough to pull them in to “sun crashing” situations. I must not be answering satisfactorily though because . . . every few days I get a new: “But, wait? Mom? Why do we need the planets?”

He doesn’t even understand the concepts needed to explain any of this (nor do I to be honest). It’s utterly exhausting. And kind of awesome. I love that he is my son.


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