I had to record the conversation I had with my lunch associates today. #4 is five years old and #5 is two years old. (This record is mostly for my benefit to look back on when they are grown, but maybe you'll enjoy it too.) By the way, this is a "stock photo" of my associates helping to put groceries away. I can't remember why they were doing it with their eyes closed. They're funny kids.
#4 put our "Hope of America" program CD in for some background music. She was asking what one of the songs was about, so I tried to explain the Declaration of Independence briefly.
Me: Our country used to belong to another country and they weren't treating us fairly, so we decided to be our own country and have our own government. The sad part was that we had to go to war to do that.
#4: What was the other country?
Me: England. So a lot of Americans died and so did a lot of Englishmen.
#4: Were we there?
Me: No. It was a long time ago. 233 years ago! When your grandparents grandparents grandparents grandparents were alive.
#4: So when it was done, did we come back home?
Me: This was even before I was born. We were up in heaven watching what was going on. When it was over, the Americans were so glad to have a free country.
#5: I'm free (holding up three fingers). [Pause] And there are free boys: I'm a boy, Dad's a boy, Sam's a boy.
Me: Who is Sam?
#5 nods his head. Then I notice that he is wiggling a lot.
Me: Do you need to go potty?
#5 shakes his head. Then he nods his head. As I approach him to help him get off the stool he talks again: "I want to go to the bathroom at Lexi's house. [We were there for a meeting this morning.] Gwen went to her bathroom and I didn't. I want to." He then is in tears as he trots off to the bathroom."
#4: What happened in the war?
Me: Men had to kill each other. They were soldiers trying to protect their country and their families. Do you know my cousin Travis? [I show her a picture of him.] He is a soldier and he has fought in a war that is going on now.
#4: Did he have to kill bad guys?
Me: He had to kill guys who wanted to kill him. That was sad because they also had families that love them. But American soldiers keep us safe.
#4: Are the bad guys here?
Me: My cousin was in a country called Iraq that is far away from here. But there are bad guys here too. We are not in a war here so we don't kill them.
#4: I know who didn't die from England. Eve's dad. [Eve's dad is my brother-in-law, Matt, who is an American living in Utah. Eve lives in England with her mom.]
Me: When we fought England that was a long time ago before any of us were born.
#4: I would like to see what England is like. I haven't been there in a while.
Me: I've never been to England in my whole life.
#4: I want to go there to see the fish. Remember when we saw those big fish? [She was thinking about a day trip our family took to the aquarium in Sandy, Utah. At least, I think that's to what she was referring.]
Me: That wasn't in England. That was in Sandy.
Me: [Blank look.]
#4: San Diego. I want to go there to see the dolphins again. [We have never been to Sea World. When we went to LA a few years ago we saw dolphins in the ocean, which we replay on a home movie.] Can we go there today?
Me: We can't. It's too expensive.
#4: Yeah, because it's so far away and we would run out of gas before we got there.
Then she got down to play with her brother.
I love observing the thought processes of these kids. I can practically see the wheels turning. Conversations like these remind me why I have to explain things over and over and over. Also why I felt like my college education was turning into mush inside my brain once I became a stay-at-home mom. However, I've learned plenty of other skills and developed important character traits that only motherhood could have worked in me.