Monday, September 17, 2012

The Hot Dog Theory

I was driving through downtown Fort Worth this weekend with my two kids strapped in the back seat. If you've ever been to north Texas, you know that its highway system is in a perpetual state of construction and expansion. As we drove past one particular work zone, Plus One wondered aloud about what they might be building. He then paused for a moment and turned away from the window. Our eyes met in the rearview mirror.

Plus One: Mom...what made this? This...everything?

Me: Do you mean the city, bud?

Plus One: No, like, the whole Earf. What made the Earf?

The traffic light turned red and I swallowed hard. I'm never prepared for this shit. Just the other day, a drive home from school was the scene of a spontaneous and unprompted  inquisition about human reproduction and the circle of life. I made a mental note to have their father start driving them around more often.

Me: Ah...well...I suppose I'd have to say that nobody knows for sure who made the Earth. But there are some theories.

Maybe that would hold him? Fat chance.

Plus One: What feories? Wait...what's a feory?

Me: Well, it's an educated guess, basically. Some people think that God made the Earth. Others think it was a little bit of God and a little bit of science. And some people think it was just science. It would depend on who you ask, buddy. What do you think?

Plus One: HMM...

I can hear a smile in his voice.

Plus One: My feory is that it was a little bit of God, a little bit of science, and a LOT of goodness.

The light turned green and my heart swelled.

Me: I think that's a great theory, Plus One. I really do.

T9 had been silent until now, and spoke with a soft voice.

T9: Mommy?

Me: Yes, buddy?

T9: I haf a feory TOO!

Me: Yeah? Let's hear it!

T9: MY feory is...

There was a dramatic pause that Plus One had no patience for.

Plus One: Just SAY it already!

T9: It's...it's...it's A HOT DOG FEORY!

The two of them laughed and laughed, and I breathed a sigh of relief, driving us home through the work zones and detours and machinery.

Sometimes there are good parenting moments. I think this was one of them.