Musings about music, writing, Portland, my new house, my travels, my family, politics, whatever.....

Friday, April 04, 2008

Conversations with kids: part 2

In the car today with Amelia and Josie. Josie is passed out, snoring.

Amelia: "Jess, what do you do for a living?"

Me: "Um, I take care of you, and Josie and River and Willa."

A: "And what else?"

Me: " And I organize concerts for people."

A: "And I thought you were a writer, too?"

Me: "I am a writer, but I don't make any money from it, like your mom. Hopefully I will someday though. I want to."

A: "Oh. Hmm."

Me: "What do YOU do for a living?"

A: She's quiet for a minute, until I think she's blowing off the question because she knows it's silly. And then, "I help people. I help my mom, and I help to do things. That's all so far."

I loved this, because it made me re-examine the phrase, "what do you do for a living?" What we do to live is not just about money, it is clearly about what we do in order to live our lives, which is partly about money, and partly about what we do for ourselves and for other people. Amelia will no doubt be of great service in the world. She already is. And I thank her for seeing me as a writer.

~ ~ ~

Josie and Amelia are painting with watercolors at my dining room table. I'm in the kitchen getting a snack. This is the overheard conversation:

Josie: "Awma, will our momma always be our momma?"

Amelia: "Yes, Josie."

J: "Even when we die?

A: "Yes. She'll be dead then, but she still will always be our mom."

J: " And what will we look like when we die? Even though we're not around?

A: "We'll look like skeletons."

J: "Why will we look like skeletons?"

A: "Because after a long time, all of our body parts will fall off, so we'll look like dead people look."

J: "Oh."

~ ~ ~

The other day I told Willa I was going to have a housewarming party. "What's a housewarming party?"

"It's a party to celebrate your new house."

"Hmm, that doesn't make any sense, Jess. That's dumb. You should call it a house-forming party."

Willa and her latest gap-toothed smile.

River and Josie eating popcorn in the yard.

River, her friend Hunter, and Josie.

Josie with her work of art.


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