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HERE IS AN ACTUAL CONVERSATION FROM TODAY

The Boy came to me late this afternoon, dressed in his snow pants and a polo shirt - we weren't at the snow. He just wanted to wear his snow pants, and his puppy slippers.  He had some information for me.

The Boy:  Mom, I know the real story of Bowser.  Get ready for this.

Me:  Okay.

The Boy:  He has no family.  He's like an orphan.  And the Kupa Troopers aren't his kids.

Me:  They aren't?

The Boy:  No.  They were orphans too, and he didn't want them to starve.  So actually, he's really scary on the outside, but inside he is kind of like a marshmallow.  

Me:  That is surprising.

The Boy:  And the only reason that he keeps stealing Princess Peach is because he feels bad that the Kuppa Troopers don't have like a real family, so he kidnaps her to marry her, which is wrong.  I know because you can't make people do stuff they don't want too.

Me:  That is correct.  Peach should get to decide who she marries.

The Boy:  Oh, yeah.  I know that, but this is an actual fact, and it isn't an excuse but 80% of kids who don't have parents feel more hostile to the outside world.

Me:  Hostile?

The Boy:  Yeah, like angry.  So, he acts bad, but really it is just because of his no parents and no family thing.

Me:  That is unexpected.

The Boy:  Yeah, you need to really think about good and evil and who the bad guys are and stuff.  Think about it, okay?

Me:  Okay.

He'll be ten next month and he surprises me all the time with his vocabulary and his thought process.  He'll be staring at the tv like a zombie, and then suddenly say something like, "You know you don't see yourself growing, but you are, and you are getting older every single second."  Of course he's likely to follow that up with, "Mom, why do cats fart?"  So, you know, he's still nine.  He reads constantly and almost all of it is nonfiction, which leads to him jumping in with facts about fifty-seven different kinds of bugs or dinosaurs.  Lately, he really likes to watch Nat Geo Wild, and The Girl has to leave the room while he watches shows where an alligator attacks another animal, or a zebra goes after a sick gazell. "It's the circle of life."  He tells her.  "It is just nature."  

Raising humans is ridiculously complicated.  Neither one of my offspring fit neatly into any box, which I suppose is because no human does.  Just today, The Girl was saying, "Well, I can't help it if I am not a girly girl who likes to wear pink dress and bows."  We weren't arguing. She was just expressing her frustration over a friend's expectations about what she should and should not like.  "You are a million things mixed altogether,"  I told her.  "It is ridiculous for someone to expect you to be one thing only.  Sometimes you might like bows and other times not and it can even be on the same day."

Which is, of course, true of me as well.  I am never just one thing.  None of us are.  We can like bows and hate them, too.  We can appear to be one thing on the outside, but being something entirely different on the inside.  I guess, to sum it all up, we are all of us, just like Bowser.

And you thought video games weren't deep. . .

--Jen