Kids come with a lot of questions. Most of them, I cannot answer, or at least not without research. Here are all the things to which I said "I don't know" this weekend:
- How far does a bullet fly?
- Why are white people called Caucasian? Why does it sound so much like Asian?
- What does the 'A' stand for in double A batteries?
- Is Hosni Mubarak a good person?
- Would you wear a burka if it was part of your religion and you lived in a country where the president made it illegal to wear one?
- What is the difference between a vegan and a vegetarian? Yeah, I thought I knew that one until I utterly failed to explain it coherently and ended up with an IDK.
- When was the last time a volcano erupted?
- Is Justin Timberlake nervous right now?
- Why can African American people use the n-word but no one else can, and why would they want to?
- How are you going to fix your computer? (This after the power cord prong thingy snapped off inside my laptop, rendering it un-power-up-able.)
- Can I go to the skate park tomorrow?
- Why do women always say other women are beautiful but men don't talk about how other men look? Actually, I did come up with a pretty decent answer for this one...but went with the IDK at first.
- Can you make us some popcorn? I was so brain dead by the time this question came up that I literally answered: I don't know.
I pondered all of these questions, as well as the ones I was able to answer more fully, as the cold morning light shifted from grey to bright across my bedroom this morning. Pinned as I was between a four year old knee in my back and an eight year old arm across my chest, I considered how many questions these little warm breathing bodies have. They are quiet now, the only time they will be all day. This is my chance to recharge, to get ready for another day full of words and questions, endless chatter and conversation. And probably some yelling.
Morning is rich with promise and possibility. My overwhelming love for my children pours out of me as I watch their sleeping chests rise and fall, and listen to the small sucking noises and the murmurs and whimpers of slow waking. Can I freeze time for awhile just to watch them sleep, where they literally look like angels who miraculously grace my presence every day? I try. I want to stay in this warm and quiet little world, where love protects me like the heavy homemade quilt that covers us. I want to live here forever. But at my back I always hear, time's winged chariot drawing near, and I know that in a precious few moments, they will be awake and asking question after question, and they will at some point in the next few hours seem more like demons bent on breaking my spirit than the angels they are in the quiet early spaces of each day.
Will I live up to their expectations and their questions today?
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