Chatting With Lexi: On Fears

we-all-fear-the-unknownFor a child who is remarkably self-assured it’s curious that Lexi also has a plethora of fears, ranging far and wide (and even into some territory where I just scratch my head and wonder “Huh?”) for better or for worse. Of course, though, she has no fear of strangers, and will indeed tell them her life story if given a chance in the line at Wal-Mart. She also isn’t afraid of failure, even though in many ways she’s a perfectionist. But the things she fears she REALLY fears. It’s like she freezes solid when the subjects even come up.

And it’s at those moments that she reminds me of… me.

Me: Lexi, I need you to go upstairs to put away the toys you got out.

Lexi: But Dad, I CAN’T GO UP THERE.

Me: Why not? It’s just for a minute to put those toys away.

Lexi: But I’m SCARED.

Me: There’s nothing to be scared of. Your mother and I are right down here.

Lexi: But I’m still SCARED. I don’t want to go up there.

Me: Well, you got out the toys, so you need to put them away. You’re going to have to go up there anyway.

Lexi: I can’t do it. I JUST CAN’T.

Me: What are you afraid of, though? Why are you so scared to go up there by yourself?

Lexi: Because she’s up there.

Me: Who?

Lexi: The gh-gh-ghost.

Me: Oh my. Lexi, ghosts aren’t real.

Lexi: You don’t know that!

Me: Uh, yeah, I know that. Ghosts aren’t real. And even if they were they can’t hurt you.

Lexi: That’s not what they say on Teen Titans. Continue reading “Chatting With Lexi: On Fears”

Chatting With Lexi: On Being a Grown Up

quotes-about-friends-growing-upSometimes I swear I’m talking to a 20-year old when I have conversations with my daughter (who will turn eight in less than two weeks). She honestly says some things that are beyond her years. And then she’ll let out a whoop and swear the aliens are coming in the near future. I try my best to reconcile the fact that this is the same person. Regardless, today we had one of those really good talks, this time about growing up…

Lexi: When will I be a grown up?

Me: When you don’t have to ask me that question anymore.

Lexi: Huh?

Me: Never mind.

Lexi: No, tell me!

Me: What I’m trying to say is that you’ll know it. No need to try and speed it up.

Lexi: But I want to be grown up now!

Me: Don’t rush it. It’s not all it’s cracked up to be.

Lexi: When I’m an adult I can have my own daughters and give them money.

Me: Are you asking me for money?

Lexi: [laughing] Well, there is this one doll I want…

Me: You don’t even play with dolls.

Lexi: I would play with THIS doll. Continue reading “Chatting With Lexi: On Being a Grown Up”

Chatting With Lexi: On Love

thMy daughter, Lexi, is the epitome of the inquisitive child. From the moment she learned how to speak (her first word was “book”) she has been asking questions seemingly nonstop, and her questions make me think. Sometimes I’m able to answer them easily, (“Daddy, what’s a touchdown?”), and other times I’m stumped, (“Daddy, who makes the eyes for stuffed animals?”), but I’m never bored with her. Believe me. Some times it drives me crazy, I’ll admit, because for every answer there’s another question, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s what makes her special, and what makes her my daughter.

This week we had a conversation about love:

Lexi: Daddy, what’s love?

Me: Well, love is when you care about somebody a whole lot.

Lexi: But I love the cats.

Me: Um, animals count too.

Lexi: But animals aren’t people.

Me: It’s okay. If you care about anything a whole lot you can love it, or them.

Lexi: I thought love had to be something that can be returned to you.

Me: What do you mean?

Lexi: Like, I love you, so you love me too.

Me: You know I don’t love you because you love me, right?

Lexi: So, if I didn’t love you, you would still love me? Continue reading “Chatting With Lexi: On Love”

A Father and Daughter Conversation: Of Magic and Spirit

th“That’s the thing with magic. You’ve got to know it’s still here, all around us, or it just stays invisible for you.” -Charles de Lint

This afternoon my seven-year old asked me why we celebrate Hanukkah, and I explained to her the miracle of the oil and the lights. She was fascinated by the story and asked me what allows miracles to happen, what the force is that compels wild things to occur and make us believe in the magic that can exist in the world. I explained to her that magic as we think of it is just illusion, all of which can be explained, but that true magic is when something unexplainable happens, when the fabric of the universe is unveiled and all its beauty spills out into our hands, but we don’t see where it comes from. It’s the magic of the oil, and the magic of the magi, and the magic of a larger than life human being with a love of giving gifts to children.

“Who is God?” she queried after I told her the story of why we honor the traditions of the Jewish faith.

“God is the reason everything happens,” I explained.

“So is God magic, since he brought about the miracle?” she asked, scrunching her face up like she was thinking hard.

“Yes, in a way, God is the ultimate magic. He creates something out of nothing,” I answered.

“Like the miracle of the oil?” she asked. She asks a lot of questions, but that’s okay. It’s how she learns.

“Exactly like the miracle of the oil,” I said, nodding my head.

“Well then, what about Christmas? Tell me that story,” she said. And I realized that I had never before truly talked to either one of my children about the real reason for the season. Continue reading “A Father and Daughter Conversation: Of Magic and Spirit”