Conversation with Stephen (10 years old) during the American Idol finale tonight:
Stephen: "He sure is enunciating well," in reference to Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong during their performance of "Working Class Hero".
Me: (laughing) "I sure didn't expect that to come out of your mouth."
Stephen: "I'm smarter than I look."
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Earlier this evening, he also accompanied me on bicycle while I walked our neighborhood. It's a somewhat "typical" older suburban neighborhood, about 120 homes, pool, tennis court, and largish lots (at least compared to today's offerings).
During my 45-minute power walk/his 45-minute joyride, several cars passed us. My jaw dropped on this one:
Stephen: "Know what scares me when cars drive by?"
Me: (thinking he was going to say they'd accidentally veer into us…) "What?"
Stephen: "…that they have guns in there and they're going to shoot us."
He was serious.
My mother-comforting response went something like "Oh, baby, you don't need to worry about that…that's the last thing that would happen."
Tell that to the kids at Columbine or Virginia Tech :/….
There is no telling what's going on in the minds of children these days…how their psyche has been indirectly assaulted from the insanity of a random massacre. Perhaps this was a telling glimpse.
As he flew down the hill having already forgotten words that branded my heart, I silently prayed those desperate prayers that all mothers pray from cradle to grave…and wondered how in the world I'm supposed to hold my children loosely.