Very young children live in an edenic, prelapsarian world (I’ve always wanted to use that word — prelapsarian — in a sentence on my blog. It’s a good day when I can work that in right away, even if all it means is “before the fall”)
I used to think that if my children didn’t have a word for certain unpleasant concepts like “war,” and “race” (not racial race but foot race, with all the horrible winning and losing issues that come with it), and “hitting-your-brother-with-your-boxer shorts-and-then-throwing-a-battery-at-him-for good-measure” we’d eke out our tenancy in the Eden that is childhood for a little longer.
We all know that’s terribly deluded, because all of us are pretty much hardwired to want to kick the pants of everyone we’re running close to, if we do ever actually get up to that speed, and we are all dying to hit our relatives with our underwear.
Nevertheless, one effort at making language fit the world I want to live in revolves around the word “rich,” a word I think needs to be much, much more broadly defined than the oodles of money, Richie Rich use of that word. Rich, I announced, when a definition was requested, means having a lot of something that matters to you. I have taken a poll (which means I asked Jack) to discover what we are currently rich in and here it is, as of November 2, 2007:
- scars and bruises (oops, that’s not exactly where I was headed)
- shoes — okay, we’re veering in a bad direction here, I being the person with the shoe problem
- stationery items (ditto)
- great food, both parents being pretty fabulous cooks
Okay, now that you know how we’re doing rich-wise, here’s our Little House on the Prairie accounting:
It’s not even noon and I’ve already handed a child $20 to go ice skating, there being no school for him today and that being the activity his friend is taking him to do. W said that if we truly lived on the prairie we’d just have to wait a few weeks, and then it would snow, and the river (or lake) would freeze and the boys could ice skate on that. I never ever thought I’d see the day when the prairie would win out over the bay area as a place to live.
I considered, and then abandoned, the idea of having William go to Parent’s Night Out at his school so W and I could go out. (And do what? Movies are not in the plan here. We could go for a nice walk! No, no, we could RACE each other around the neighborhood.) Parent’s Night Out costs $20 and therefore is out of the question.
Child who was cruising overstock.com and noticed that Chuck Taylor All-Stars are $9.99 a pair (you might want to check that out, all of you who are spending the month blogging daily or writing a novel) was told sternly that he’d have to wait until December to buy them, if he still wanted them. “But I had no choice in this whole prairie thing,” he wailed. Neither did Laura and Mary, dude.