It is a simple choice, she said, bicycles or a cat.
I wanted to tell her that there are no simple choices in the middle of a pandemic, and those that seem that way, to mask or not, to shop or not can be life or death choices.
I thought about the options for a few moments, remembered the cats I still mourn like children who never grew into adulthood and said, “Let’s get a cat, its safer by far and I will not be hit by a car riding a cat.”
It has taken 67 years, but I have finally arrived at what I want to do and be when I finally grow up, which should happen any day now, but please don’t hold your breath.
In this modern age, there is an ever present and growing need for euphemists, and I am perfectly suited for it.
Just this month I could have offered social distancing, not to mention those who now must shelter in place everywhere, and I’m working on several more, though I may no longer have time on my hands, for I know if I did I’d have to immediately wash them.
It has been said, wisely, that all children speak a common language, regardless of what adults believe they are hearing.
The proof of that proposition is simple enough, pause and watch a parent make demands of a child in the presence of other children, see the reluctant child glance at his foreign peers and gain silent and instant affirmation of adult unreasonableness.
When do we cease being able to communicate without words, in that language of childhood that is at once universal and capable of silence.
He is only four years old, has decided he will be “an X-ray doctor” in a few years because he wants to see broken fingers and legs, but if he sees bad things he can take them out and throw them in the trash. He is more perceptive that even he can imagine for without any medical training it is clear he can see right through any adult he comes across, and he does it was a gentle smile that says: your secrets are safe with me, probably, maybe.