Me: What was the funniest thing that happened to you today at school?
Hank: Nothing funny happened.
Me: There was no laughing whatsoever?
Hank: (thinking) Nope.
Me: That is the saddest thing I have ever heard.
Hank: Not every day has funny things.
Me: But it should. What about you pai (dad)?
Pai: Not a single laugh today either.
Me: NO. My heart is breaking.
Hank: What about you, mama? You are sick with your back and in bed. What was your funniest thing?
Me: Well. I was feeling very low. Today was my third day in bed and I hate being trapped in bed. And so I skyped with Laurel and Aralee and laughed for about an hour and a half and felt so much better after that I was able to get up and walk around a bit and now I am sitting at the dinner table with you boys. All because of laughing. Laughing is medicinal.
Pai: Quick! Hank! Think of something funny! We need to keep your mama laughing so she gets better.
Hank: (giggling) Do you know any jokes, Papa?
Pai: No. You?
Hank: I am not good at jokes. Laura Sofia is the funny one. She is so funny… OH WAIT: (releases the biggest, loudest, rudest burp) Perdão (pardon me).
Me: Hank… This is Grand Theft Auto. You know you are not aloud to play this game until you are 18. Why do you have this box?
Hank: I was looking at the book. I want to know what these mean. I was not playing it.
Me: You are very lucky to have o Tio (an uncle) who gifted you a Playstation PSP, but he didn’t think about the games very well. I should sell this game.
Hank: NO. Please. I won’t play it. I want to save it for when I am older.
Hank: Mama? What are these pictures?
Me: These are the signs that tell you what kind of game you are going to play. This first one is a fist and that means violent. The second means adult words. The third means big scary monsters. This one means sex. Do you know what sex is?
Hank: Um… no.
Me: Sex is the evolution of love. When you’re an adult and you love someone you can choose together to have sex, but you must be mature enough to handle it. It is very powerful, almost magic and sex is dangerous. If you are not careful and responsible you can either contract a disease or make a baby.
Hank: Oh yes. I remember. That is how mommies get babies.
Me: Yes. Sex is something very personal and private and not something to be gossiped and rumored about. This is also why I want you to sing, “Hey, Fancy Lady,” instead of, “Hey, Sexy Lady,” when you sing Gangnam Style. Sexy is an adjective for when you are mature enough to use it. Not now.
Me: This symbol means drugs are used. This symbol means discrimination and the last one is gambling.
Hank: What does discrimmmination mean?
Me: When you discriminate against another person you judge them based on ridiculous standards that have nothing to do with their character, whether or not they have a kind heart or a mean heart. Some people judge others based on their height, weight, skin, The clothes they wear, how much money they have, how much school they went to, where they were born, what their teeth look like, if they are purple or if they are green, if they have stars on their bellies or if they do not.
Me: Tell me something Hank… Why would you want to play a game that had all of these adult problem in it, because trust me, when you are an adult you will face all of these challenges and none of them are fun. Why are you so interested in facing them in a video game?
Hank: I have to think about this. I knew they stole cars in Grand Theft Dourado, but not all of these other things. (pause) I guess I will have my whole growing up to think about that.
Hank: Then get up. I want to organize my books with you.
Me: I would if I could, but I am sick. I am sorry that you have a sick mother.
Pai: (from another room) Hank, your mãe (mom) has an injury to her back and most of the time she is fine…
Me: But sometimes I am hurt and I have to be still and lay flat. This is very hard.
Hank: It hurts?
Me: Very much.
Hank: Oh. This happened when we got back from America and I was with my avó and tia (grandmother and aunt) at the beach.
Me: Yes. That was the last time I had an attack. My bones bite my nerves. They are not friends.
Me: Yes. My bones and my nerves have been at war for a long time. I have been seeking diplomatic aid from my muscles and circulatory system, but negotiations have brought about little change. And I do my very best to stay fit and healthy. What is best is when I have an attack I stay calm and rest and when I am well I live my best life (whispers) with you.
Hank: And I can help you.
Me: Thanks, buddy. You are the best helper. It is not easy having a sick mama, but it helps that you have the world’s best pai (dad). Now, would you like to watch a documentary about drawing with me or would you like to go organize your books?
Hank: Can I start here with you and if my pants get ants can I leave?