“Why is the sky blue?”
Was she seriously asking me this?
Usually, the relentless interrogations cover thornier ground: Why did you have to get divorced? Can you make yourself not have a baby? Why are my step-brothers here less often than I am?
And once: Do you poop when you have a baby?
I attempt to give vague answers, trying to protect her, distract her. She’s seven. She’s asked difficult questions since she was three: Why don’t I get to be at my daddy’s house as often as your house?
Why? Why? Why?
For a year or so, I was able to keep my emotions in check. I knew she couldn’t grasp the details of the divorce, and I didn’t want her to. I knew certain things are too scary for a child so young.
Why did you honk at that car?
But she grinds me down. She doesn’t accept my age-approriate responses. She asks repeatedly until I tell the truth. The godawful truth…or some mangled version of it that leads to more questions.
Will I not have any boyfriends if I’m smart?
The never-ending questions.
At one point, we instigated a “two-time rule.” If she got “stuck in a loop,” I’d give her two more times to ask and then we were done.
The two-time rule was especially handy when she had been fixated on ways to die. It freed us both.
Yet that day, she asked an easy one. A childhood classic. Why is the sky blue?
“Well, you know when we spray the hose, and sometimes you see a rainbow? The blue of the sky is like that part of the rainbow. And sometimes, like at sunset, we get to see the other colors.”
“Oh,” she said. She got it. She didn’t ask any more questions–just recited the colors of the rainbow.
I got to be a normal mom, having a normal conversation.
Here’s the Trifecta the weekly prompt.
1: to take or seize eagerly
- Your response must be between 33 and 333 words.
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- The word itself needs to be included in your response.
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