"Mommy, hold this" my son says, sapphire eyes wide and sparkling. I've learned to look before I accept.
Opening two grimy, chubby hands, three-year-old Josiah reveals today's treasures: four dead pill bugs, a jay feather, crumpled autumn leaves, two snail shells (empty, thank God), and three slightly grimy pennies. The Fort Knox of a preschooler.
I smile and open my hands, humbled by the honor of guarding his private hoard. We walk and talk. He's convinced of my omniscience. I know the truth too well as I field and flub his questions:
"How come the birdies fly away from me? Why doesn't that cat talk? Why did God let grandpa die? How come He lets some people be rich and some are poor? Why did Adam's servant (sic) give Eve the apple? Why is she so fat? God did NOT make broccoli. He only made ice cream. If Jesus is God's only son, doesn't He get lonely?"
And today's gem: "Mommy, do you know why Peter sank when he got out of the boat? It was because he forgot his floaties!"
I used to say "I don't" when people asked, "Do you work?" When the question comes now, as it inevitably does, I smile and say, "You bet. Every Professional Mother does."