Clara smiled up at me in the afternoon sunlight. She was sitting on a stool next to my desk and I had just finished explaining something. She interrupted me before I could move on to a different subject.
“Okay, just a second Dad. I am enjoying our conversation and all, but why are we talking about all of this?”
“What?” I looked around the room, “Oh, um…okay…” And I wandered back through our whole conversation in my mind. I had just finished talking about how tax deductions work to encourage people to give money to charities. And before that, I had explained about the Revolutionary war and had explained about the concept of Taxation without Representation, oh, right, and I had been talking about that because I needed to explain the etymology of the word Philanthropy which had tangentially led into a brief lesson on Greek root words and Jesus’ teaching to Peter about the nature of agape love versus Phileo love. This of course was all in support of a larger discussion we were having about Net Worth and how wealthy people diversify their income. Where had that come from though? Oh, right. Of course. We were talking about Dolly Parton, the songwriter, actress, author, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, the woman my children know because they were sent a children’s book from her Imagination Library once a month for the first five years of their lives. Why were we talking about that though? I could hardly remember. Oh, it dawned on me, because we were talking about Dollywood. Dolly Parton’s Theme Park.
I quickly walked Clara back through the conversation again, and she nodded as if she already knew all of this. “Yes, I know Dad, but before all that. Where did you start?”
I stared at the wall for a few more seconds.
“Oh. Gideon asked how to spell the word ‘Rodeo’.”
“Yep,” she said, in confirmation. “Yep,” she said again, looking at the door. “Gideon asked how to spell ‘Rodeo’.” she sighed, but in a pleasant sort of way. “Okay, you can keep talking now.”