Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Note, A Hat

I'm driving her home from catechism and she's looking out the window dreamily, crunching the Smarties her teacher gave her for correctly answering questions, looking for stars.

"Somewhere in the world right now -" she says, and then she stops, self-conscious, censoring her words already.

"Somewhere in the world, what?" I ask.

I see her smile sheepishly in the rearview mirror.  She is quiet.  Then:  "Somewhere in the world right now, a baby is being born."

"You're right!  Probably lots of babies, actually."

"Like, 55 million babies?"

"Well, probably not quite that many."

"Like, ten?"

"Probably more than ten.  Somewhere between ten and 55 million babies."  Later, after she'd gone to bed, I looked it up.  I wrote a note for her lunch today:  250 babies are born every minute in the world.  I am so glad that YOU were born!  Love, Mom

I'm walking her to school this morning and we're arguing about whether or not she should wear a hat.  "It's 39 degrees," I say, "and I'm wearing a hat.  It's cold!"  She is holding the offending hat in her hand.

"Moooom.  It's only fall.  You always make me take a hat when it's not even winter.  Then the other kids in line laugh at me."

"Who would laugh at someone else because they had a hat when it was cold?" I say, my feeble attempt at fighting second-grade peer pressure.  "That's silly."

"Mom.  I'm not wearing it."

"Okay.  You don't have to wear it if you don't want to.  But just have it in your backpack in case you want it at recess."  She rolls her eyes and shoves it in her backpack before we even reach the school, mortified at the thought that anyone might see her with a hat.  It's probably in there now, right next to her lunch with the note, little pieces of my love she takes with her as she counts by tens in Spanish and makes a fantasy story web and reads graphs and chases boys on the playground.

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