Sometimes we forget just how much children are forced to accept as normal. For instance, the breadth of their limited experience on Earth isn’t enough to tell them whether it is normal to find a spider crawling in the bath tub in the morning. Is that normal? Really? What else is normal to find crawling in the bathtub? If we walk in and find that a crocodile has moved into the downstairs bathroom, is that one of those things Mom and Dad are going to laugh at and say, “Just open the door and leave it alone.” or will they run screaming from the house and never come back? Who knows really. Because they have predicted our reaction to things a million times before and they have usually guessed wrong.
Anything is possible in this strange fantasy world called Life.
My girls were already coming to terms with this fact on Saturday when their Mom and Dad retreated into the basement with two different computers and multiple stacks of documents and envelopes so they could perform the ancient pagan rite known as “Taxes”. They didn’t understand why, no matter how many things they knocked over in the kitchen, or how loudly they sang while jumping on their parents bed, we stayed in the basement and ignored them. We were bewitched by numbers. Chained to forms. Slaves to the tyranny of civil duty.
Morning drifted into afternoon and afternoon was quickly turning into blurry eyed evening when we finally gave up and decided to order a pizza. Now, this is a big step for our family. We have never order a pizza to be delivered to our home before. It has always been just as fun to drive up the road and get it ourselves. But deep in our number crunching and deep in our pajamas still, we had very few other options.
We called Clara down to explain what needed to happen.
“Clara, we just called and there is going to be a man in a car bringing us a pizza soon. Could you be watching out the front window and let us know if he arrives?”
She stared at us blankly. “What?”
“Just watch out the window and tell us when a man with a pizza arrives, okay?”
She blinked, “Ooookay…” she turned and started to walk away, then she turned back. “So, who is he?”
“We don’t know.”
“But he’s bringing us a pizza?”
“And he’s going to live here now, or something?”
Apparently this was a viable option in her mind. We weren’t simply ordering a pizza we were ordering a pizza with a side order of “New Family Member”.
“No. He’s not going to live here. He’s just bringing us a pizza.”
“Is he going to eat it with us?”
“Why would he eat it with us?”
She stood there, as if her question was far more logical and should be answered first. “Okay, no he’s not going to help us eat the pizza. That would be weird. He’s just bringing it to us and leaving.”
She looked back and forth from me to her mother, to try to figure out if either one of us were joking or not. Perhaps this man really was going to come live with us now. Maybe this was all a trap, and she was going to be replaced with a man that was capable of producing pizza and didn’t leave collections of rocks and discarded coins on every counter in the house. It’s a tempting idea now that I consider it.
Finally, she accepted this new reality and walked away. Apparently, she lives in a world where you can just ask people and they will get in their car and bring you a pizza. But you had to take it from them entirely, because it would be rude to share. And they definitely can’t live here now, just drop off the pizza and go away forever, I don’t even want to know what your name is. Leave the pizza. Go away. I suddenly realized that maybe the world really was kind of a strange place. Maybe I should invite the guy in? Nah, I’m too busy telling the US government how much money I spent on health insurance last year.