Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Is God Real?

“Mom, is god real?”

I was just settling in under the covers with Dixon. Delaney was cuddling Sneezie, our new kitty, who we just got yesterday. I don’t know what made her think of it. Perhaps touching the cat. Perhaps the imminent arrival of Christmas.

But tonight, it came out of the blue. And it came from Delaney, as most of the deeper questions do.

“Whoa, that’s an interesting question,” I said, turning over to face her. “What do you think?”

Friday, December 3, 2010

How to Celebrate Chanukah Without Burning Your House Down

It’s been my week for trying to do new, unfamiliar things. It took me two days to add a subscription service to this blog. I’ll post something on that in a day or two. Suffice it to say I was a little frustrated when I picked them up from school. And when Delaney suggested that since it’s Chanukah, we should cook something from her children’s “Jewish Holidays Cookbook,” I should have known better. But I said yes. I thought it would be fun.

I thought wrong.

See, the problem with Chanukah is it’s a story about oil. Heated oil. Lighted oil. Lasting longer than it was supposed to. And all of the foods associated with Chanukah are oil based. Potato Latkes (which have always tasted to me like what I imagine a mouthful of hot liquid rubber would taste like), homemade doughnuts, and schmaltz. (It’s a real thing; not just a fun word meaning “corny and melodramatic.”)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Delaney's Cat

Every year for the last three years, about a month or two before their birthday, Delaney starts asking for a cat. At first I said no. I was just getting used to being a single mom. I didn’t want to add another thing to the mix. Then I said we could get a cat if I could name her or him Crookshanks. Delaney did not like that. She argued. It was going to be their cat, she and Dixon should be able to name it. I said I was going to be paying for the cat, buying all of the things cats need and feeding it regularly. I should get naming rights.

This works for sports stadiums. It does not work for 6-year-olds.

And, of course, I was counting on that.

But this year, as she and her sister approach their eighth birthday, she’s a bit more mature. And, apparently, incredibly focused and resourceful. She can read and write. So—to my horror—she can surf the web. She Googled cats, which led her to Petsmart, which has an entire area devoted to animal shelter partners with cats to adopt. She spent the morning looking through a variety of felines, narrowing the parameters (“Long or short hair, mom?”) and taking notes on the ones she liked best. Then she started looking at cat accoutrements, eventually handing me a list of 16 items that cats need—and their cost—assuring me that she looked through all the different cat bowls and chose the cheapest one.

Methinks we’re getting a cat.