Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Kids today

What is it with the kids today? First my beautiful, talented, brilliant 9 year-old goddaughter throws around two 25 cent words like metamorphose and genre like an old pro. Then Alex, that self-contained little thing that she is, almost knocks me off my feet this afternoon with something she said.

The girls sing me songs on the phone sometimes. This week B has been singing me the song about the five little ducks that go over the hill and far away, and each time one fewer comes back. Today Alex sang me a bunch of songs, mostly made up. Then she wanted me to sing her songs. So, I sang her Little Bunny Foo Foo, but being only 5 years old she didn’t get the moral of the song, “Hare today, Goon tomorrow”. She thought there should be more to the song. Then I sang the “Sugar in the morning, sugar in the evening, sugar at suppertime” song my great-grandmother used to sing to me. She wanted me to sing one more song so I sung the following song that my Aunt Anne learned in elementary school (to the tune of “Funiculi, Funicula”):

One day I took with me upon the subway
My High Silk Hat, My High Silk Hat
I sat it on the seat beside me
My High Silk Hat, My High Silk Hat
A big fat lady came and sat upon it
My High Silk Hat, It looked like that (sung in a tiny voice)
A big fat lady came and sat upon it
My High Silk Hat, It looked like that
Christopher Columbus, what do you think of that?
A big fat lady, she sat upon my hat,
My hat she broke and that’s no joke
My hat she broke and that’s no joke!!!!!
Christopher Columbus, what do you think of that?

Alex was quiet for a second, but then she asked, “Who is Christopher Columbus?” She’s so thoughtful about everything and those little wheels are turning all the time. As beautiful as she always is, she’s never more beautiful than when she’s trying to figure something out. It’s breathtaking.

Hmmm, so how do you explain Christopher Columbus to a five year-old? I thought for a second and started, “He was a man that lived a long time ago and he wanted to go on an adventure. So he got a boat and …” She stopped me, “Oh! I know who he is!” I thought she was just bored with my story already, so I asked, “Who is he?” And she busts out this nugget: “He’s a man who went sailing on the ocean and found America.” Well, yes, that’s absolutely true!

I told her she was so smart, and she said, “I know. I’m probably smarter than you.” Well, no doubt! Then she asked, “Aunt Mel, did you go to college?” I said, “Yes I did, but I didn’t finish.” I guess to her the “yet” was implied in that sentence because she said, “Oh, that’s where you are now? In college?”

Um, um, um, no baby girl, but all these years I’ve wanted to go back and your little 5 year-old logic might be the very incentive I need to go back and finish up because the thought of disappointing you is worse than the thought of disappointing anyone else in the world, including myself.


Diane said...

Oh, I know that feeling. But let me tell you something... you will NEVER disappoint those girls. It is simply not possible. And I know this because you are their Aunt Jean. And that's all that needs to be said.

Protege said...

This is exactly why it is so much fun to be around kids; their honesty and the way they view the world is so very unpretentious. And their love is unconditional.;)