Chatting With Lexi: On Being Wrong

to-be-creative-lose-the-fear-of-being-wrong-quote-1Okay, so she gets it honest. Lexi absolutely hates being wrong, at any time, in any way. In fact, she will try her best to convince you after the fact that she’s still right regardless of the evidence against that even remotely being true. She reminds me of myself when she gets obstinate like that, crafting entire scenarios to bolster her version of events, creating entirely new scientific evidence from thin air to support her claim. But in the end she’s not even really convincing herself, just really trying to distance herself from what she perceives as failure.

We’ve talked about it often, this inability to accept the truth when it skews differently from her opinion, and it bothers me because I see her growing up as this inflexible human being, like I still am at times. I guess it’s true that we want something more for our children than we’ve had, and in this case I don’t want her to have this portion of herself be like me. I want her to be open to the glory of being wrong. The following conversation happened while we were reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Me: So, Lexi, why do you think Harry is worried about this potion that Snape just gave to Professor Lupin?

Lexi: I don’t know.

Me: Well, think about it. Harry thinks Snape is evil, AND he knows that Snape wants Lupin’s job. Why would that worry him, Snape giving Lupin the potion?

Lexi: I don’t know what you want me to say!

Me: I don’t want you saying something just because. I want you to use some of your own reasoning skills and arrive at an educated guess.

Lexi: But I don’t know.

Me: Well, how do you think Snape could get Lupin’s job? And how might a potion have anything to do with that plan?

Lexi: Maybe the potion could give Snape Lupin’s job.

Me: How?

Lexi: Daaaaaad. I don’t want to guess anymore. Continue reading “Chatting With Lexi: On Being Wrong”

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”

The Immaculate Conversation

52f29d839786d977bccd12da8064f857Sometimes I imagine what it would have been like to be a fly on the wall in some nondescript building in Nazareth shortly after the conception of Jesus Christ. Think about it. She was already engaged to a working man, a carpenter named Joseph, who already knew she was a virgin when they were courting, and she had to find a time and place to explain to him that she was pregnant. It was obviously not his kid, and she had to know how ludicrous it would all sound, but there were no options for her. It was like a Band-Aid. She had to rip it off quickly and hope he wasn’t grossed out by the wound.

Mary {walking in the door}: Joe, we need to talk.

Joseph: Let me guess. You want to call off the wedding? I already called the dove guy. He’s got 100 birds ready and waiting.

Mary {shaking her head}: No, no. But you might want to call it off yourself after you hear what I have to tell you.

Joseph: The last time you said something like that it was because you sold your prize goat that was supposed to part of your dowry. But that was cool with me, and I’m sure this will be too.

Mary: Joe, this isn’t even remotely like selling a goat. I wish it was, honestly.

Joseph: Okay, Mare, now you’ve got me worried. Just spit it out and we’ll deal with it. Together.

Mary: Just remember that I’ve never lied to you before. Please keep that in mind because this may be a bit fantastic to hear. Heck, I would think I was crazy if I wasn’t there myself to see what happened.

Joseph: Mare, have you been drinking the mead from behind the temple again? Continue reading “The Immaculate Conversation”

@ Dunkin Donuts

Dunkin DonutsWe drove up to the Dunkin Donuts in Upper Darby this morning, desperately seeking doughnuts for the children and a coffee for me. I’m just not operating fully if I don’t have some caffeine in me at some point during the day. Outside the shop were several teenagers lounging and smoking, looking like they had just rolled out of bed, even though I’m sure school was already in session at that point. They had no intention of entering the place, instead preferring to use the grass out front as a hangout spot for delinquents.

A young girl was standing in the doorway.

“Excuse me,” I said to her as I opened the door wider to get past.

“You excused,” she responded, not moving one inch, but we somehow made it by her anyway.

Welcome to Philadelphia.

The floors were sticky, like they had just been mopped by by filthy water that only put more grit on the floor instead of taking it off. We stepped carefully while inside, as we made our way to the counter. Two ladies were working back there, doing a complicated dance that they should have made look simple but didn’t. One was manning the drive-thru, which I had noticed outside was five cars deep, and the other was in charge of helping customers in the actual store. There were two of us.

“I would like a coffee, please,” I told the lady when she stopped long enough to listen. “Cream and sugar.”

“What size you want?” she asked without looking at me.

“I guess I’ll take a large,” I said, having not thought it out beforehand, only knowing I needed caffeine.

“You want a medium?” she responded, as if I hadn’t said a thing.

“Suuuure. I’ll take a medium,” I told her, looking over at my wife to see if she had heard the exchange. She was rolling her eyes, and I realized I was too. I mean, seriously? The lady ended up making me a medium coffee, but at least it had cream and sugar in it. Continue reading “@ Dunkin Donuts”