Conversations with Aidan

On the way home from school today, Madeline had just handed her most beloved, pink, beaded necklace (that she had completely forgotten about until earlier today when I found it at the bottom of my beach bag) to Lily, so that Lily could have a turn wearing it, when Lily "accidentally" broke it....by pulling it apart, with all her might....Madeline immediately went into hysterics.

"Why do you always cry when things break?" Aidan said, a hint of irritation in his voice.

"Aidan, you sometimes cry too when your things break and it's okay to cry," I said. "It's disappointing when your things break. But some things just aren't meant to last forever," I explained, while making a mental note to keep all valuables away from Lily.

"Yeah, that's true," Aidan agreed. "Like ants...they aren't meant to last forever," he said. I was having a hard time controlling my laughter so he went on. "No, it's true Mom. Sometimes, ants are just sitting there with their legs up, not walking. They are talking to other ants and they just don't see the foot coming down on them and SMASH! They're gone."

It took several minutes for me to recover and by the time I caught my breath, Aidan was explaining to Madeline the process of skin growth. I was half surprised not to hear "epidermis" or "cutaneous" in his discourse, but then, he is only 5.

Fast forward to later when I was helping Aidan clean out some of his artwork which has created a bit of a clutter-ful mess in the house. I was explaining that we could only keep the very best pieces and Aidan had sincere arguments for why he needed to keep each masterpiece. I had only convinced him to throw away two pieces of paper (neither of which I think he had drawn anyway) when I found a half finished mountain he had made at Sunday School.

"Aidan, what about this one? " I said, holding up the incomplete landscape.

"We have to keep that one, Mom. It's a picture of God's house," Aidan explained.

"Aidan, it isn't even done!" I said, exasperated.

"But Mom, it's for GOD!" Aidan exclaimed as if I had just asked him to punch God in the nose.

Well, he's got me there. It's like the old saying: Damned if you do, damned if you don't!

And lastly there was today's park clean up: Aidan had brought his eight, orange, sports cones to set out so he could ride his bike around them. When it was time to leave the park, I said:

"Aidan it's time to collect the cones and put them in the car."

His eyes got wide with excitement and he looked like he was going to burst.

"Really?! I can get the cones?" he asked.

"Uh, yeah," I said, a little confused. "Please collect them and put them in the car."

"We get to be cone collectors?!" he asked. "Really?!"

"Sure, Aidan," I said, wondering if he was finally picking up the subtle art of sarcasm.

It was driving home, a dozen and a half pine cones rolling around the floor of my car, that I understood why he was so thrilled.

I think I now fully understand the meaning of 'lost in translation'....

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