Friday, May 26, 2006

Death and the (Six-Year-Old) Maiden

OK, this whole HTML maneuvering thing is starting to come along. Now that I realize that I need to use Firefox, I can see more clearly what to do. I deeply, deeply hate Explorer...and, though I'm a Mac user, Safari irritates me at times, too. (Now, I'll get flaming hate e-mails from the Mac Legions. Stop! Put down the pitchfork! I'm one of you! Though I do use a Dell at work, and it's not so bad most of the time and AIEEEEEE!!!!)

I've started to put up some links, to people whom I like and to other websites of coolness. Bits and pieces, bits and pieces. I know the world is clamoring for the musings of another working mother who used to rock and roll (see here, here, and here for better examples thereof,) so I'll be sure to get on it quickly. No promises, but I'll try to actually keep the damn thing going this time, so that I can justify my friends linking to me...Karla, have at it. I hope not to disappoint your many fans.

This evening in Austin, TX, is dry and windy. You'd like to think that the wind means that a brief thunderstorm might move through, but the radar says there's no damn hope of that. (Fuck you, Jim Spencer! My tomatoes are wilting, and it's NOT EVEN JUNE.) I don't know how we manage to have mosquitos when it doesn't really rain, but they are some hardy strain that appears to birth themselves directly from the cracking cedar planks on my deck. The children look poxed, yet do not seem to care one whit as they dig in the amoeba pit that is surely swimming in that plastic sandbox.

The older girl, a smart yet hyperactive sort, tends to worry (when she is not bursting out of her skin with excitement, which is conservatively about 60% of the time). For more than a year now, she's been obsessed, nay, fascinated, with death. She's the Tom Joad of mortality. If a cat kills a bird, she'll be there. If there's a dead worm on the driveway, she'll be there. She has related in serious detail ALL of the dead things she has found on the playground so far this year.

As she's a really good reader and all, and because she likes the old cartoon, I bought her "Charlotte's Web," my favorite childhood book. (A side note: If you haven't read it in a while, take a look at it again someday. I'd forgotten just how good it is. It's a perfect, small, story.) She does like the story, but tonight, I came into the bedroom and caught her skipping to the end of the story. She was repeating the lines, "She was dying," and "She never moved again" softly to herself. I sat down with her, encouraged her to read the chapter we were actually on, but what she wanted to talk about was:

OC: "Why did Charlotte die?"
Me: "Because it was her time, and everything dies."
OC: "You'll die, I'll die, (younger child) will die, and all my children and (younger child's) children, and their children's children will die. I have the eggs in my body RIGHT NOW that will make children who will die."
Me: "But, they haven't lived yet. You can't worry about death all the time, or you won't have any fun!"
OC: (tears) "Then I need to have a lot of fun and make good choices while I'm still alive."

I held her to sleep, and wondered about the neuroses I have fostered. Is it born, or is it bred? Do other parents of six-year-olds have this problem, or is mine INSANE?

To the pinot grigio. Stat.

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