Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Enemy of My Enemy is My Friend

Seriously, you would think by now I would get it.  By in large, my kids are all Tony or all me.  There is very little combining of personalities.  Except one area.  I am a notorious deep thinker.  I think beyond what people say to what they must really mean.  I ponder the silliest of comments looking for the deeper meaning.  I have to know the heart of everyone especially those in positions of leadership.  My husband lovingly tells me that I should win the Beat-The-Dead-Horse Award because I refuse to accpet anything at face value.  Tony, for his part, is the question man.  Nothing is obvious- even the obvious.  I tell him that he proves the adage about no such thing as a dumb question to be wrong.  I lovingly tell him that he should win the Beat-The-Dead-Horse Award because he needs total understanding before he can take the smallest step forward.  So, in short, I need to know everything from top to bottom.  He needs to know everything from left to right.  Comprehende?

These traits have combined to make my children curious to the fullest.  I know this about them.  People with children laugh at the stuff that my kids want to understand.  Like 6 year-old Chloe's desperate prayers for the rapture to happen before Camilla turned 2 so that they're wouldn't be any question of her eternal future.  That's normal here.  Still, I blindly and often, enthusiastically, walk into some really awkward situations.  (Reading Cain and Abel as a bedtime story comes to mind as an example) Today, I ran right into it.

The kids and I were headed home from a lovely trip to the mall.  I was feeling my Spanish-speaking wheaties, and they had enjoyed the break from the apartment.  Normally, the kids listen exclusively to Christian music, but at times, I have to turn on something else.  (I'm sure there's a blog entry in that sentence, but that will have to be for another time.)  Today, after I hit my Steven Curtis Chapman limit, I decided to go secular with Billy Joel.  At this point, my brother is doubled over laughing at the lameness of that choice.  If the Piano Man is as far as the kids ever dive into secular music, my parenting life will be a success.  Carson's only request was that we listen to the fast ones.  Can do, son!  We put on We Didn't Start the Fire and everything quickly went south.

My inner homeschooling nerd came out so we began talking about all the history in the song.  I let the kids listen to the words and ask questions.  I did have enough sense to pray that they didn't ask about the more questionable parts- like that British Politican part.  So, I'm singing away, and then Chloe asked the now infamous question, "What's Russians in Afghanistan"?   No problem.  I got this one.  I start waxing eloquent about the whole conflict.  Caught up in my own knowledge and how much this is counting as school (what is that verse about pride and a fall?  Get your helmets ready people!), I talk about the United States supporting the mujahideen and, therefore, Osama bin Laden in the fight.  The kids are completely enthralled with this.  Teach them the expression that the enemy of my enemy is my friend.  Now, we are talking about Al-Qaeda and terror networks.  I'm focusing on traffic so I miss Camilla's eyes getting bigger and bigger.  Carson, my mini me- bless his heart- starts waxing eloquent about September 11th.  But he has the facts all wrong.  So, I start correcting him.  Son, the planes went into the buildings.  Dear, no one on the planes survived.  (The astute readers are jumping up and down seeing where this ship is heading.)  I look in my rearview mirror.  Camilla is hiding under her hat.  Chloe is whimpering under a blanket.  Maybe this isn't kid stuff.  Ya think? 

Traffic finally breaks, and we make it to the parking garage.  The girls all but dive out of the van to get away from the conversation.  Carson still has a million questions about the hearts of terrorists.  (Um.  I have no idea where he gets this stuff...)  For my part, I'm desperately talking about the different kinds of ice cream we saw today in a lame attempt to lighten the mood.  Fortunately, we walk into the apartment and are saved by the sounds of skype.   I plop into a chair and decide it's my Dad's fault.  He's the original Billy Joel fan afterall.

And remember that post about how to tell the kids that they are getting on an AIRPLANE?   I think we are going to hold off for a little while longer.

2 comments:

Dawn said...

Oh my! How did you transition from terrorists to ice cream? I think it is best to save any conversation of airplanes. What a LOVELY trip to the mall.

Anonymous said...

You make me proud with your dedication to the Social Sciences--History, Geography, and then, with the girls, Psychology!