Tuesday, April 21, 2015

everybody

Shopping can be exhausting.

Lola can be exhausting.

She's a lot like me, always talking, always questioning, always wondering -- and lately she's been obsessed with everybody.

"Everybody has a mom."
"Everybody has legs."
"Everybody has a house."
"Everybody has books."

With each and every instance, we try to talk her through it so she understand that, no, not everyone has a home with two parents and a sibling, under a roof of their own, in a place of their own. We try.

Generally, these conversations go pretty well at home.

When we're out grocery shopping? Not so much.

This past weekend, while walking down the ice cream aisle (I swear we were only there for the frozen French toast sticks! Though now that I say that, I don't know if that's any better than the ice cream...) and Lola started in on it again.

"Everybody has a mom," she said. Out of the blue. Nothing prompts it, just her general thoughts on life.

"No, no they don't," I corrected.

"But everyone has to come out of a mom's tummy so they have to have a mom," she argued.

Well, they had a female carrier, yes, but does that really make one a mom? Or should I get into the whole concept of surrogates? At age 6?

"No," I said, simply. "Sometimes you might have a mom at first but things happen and maybe they can't stay with you or maybe they get sick or -- oh look, hot dog buns! What kind do you want? With seeds or without?"

Change the subject, change the subject, change the subject.

"Everybody has a dad then?" she continued.

"No, no," I said, "same kind of thing, sort of, kind of. Let's talk about this at home."

She ignores me, saying instead, "Everybody has a sister," and when I began to correct that, she added, "Or a brother."

"No, honey, there really isn't anything that 'everybody' has," I tried to explain. "Everybody has struggles, everybody has fears, everybody has feelings but there really isn't anything that everybody can physically hold that is universal for all people."

"Everybody has 100 cents," she countered.

"No, Baby, no, some people don't have money at all."

"Everybody has a clock."

No, no, no...

And then, finally, triumphantly, "Everybody has clothes."

"Well, no, not really," I said.

Lola was now exasperated, "They're not walking around naked Mommy!"

We were now in the baking aisle. The nice lady we passed who was nearby, trying to simply get her own shopping done, couldn't suppress a smile as I tried, unsuccessfully, to talk about clothing depots and donations, about places people can go to find things they need.

And then, once out of earshot (I think?) I begged, honestly begged, Lola to let it go until we got home.

***
A few days earlier, it was Friday afternoon. The beginning of the weekend.

I was happy, the kids were happy, it was time to relax and have a few days of fun. No real plans, just some family time.

We were driving home from daycare, taking the main stretch through town. Listening to songs, singing some "Wheels on the Bus" for Millie.

It was warm and sunny.

With a breeze and we even had the windows open.

Light and breezy. The best way to start the weekend.

"Mommy, I think that's where my grave will be some day," Lola said, simply, completely out of the blue, as we passed the local cemetery.

No introduction, no transition, just simple fact.

"Um, well, maybe," I stuttered. "But we don't have to talk about that today. Or tomorrow. Or, you know, ever."

I told her she has a long time before we have to talk about her grave.

"OK," she said, taking a breath.

And then, a few beats later, "Will you be buried there someday?"

Exhausting. She's so exhausting some days.

But she makes me laugh. Even when I want to cry.

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