The Circle of Life

conversations with hank


(midway through a typical dinner conversation)

Hank: But what I don’t understand is how a baby can be born from your body without pain?

Me: Easy.

Pai: Drugs.

Hank: You took drugs?

Me: Yup, both times. With Amália I had to as I had a surgery, but with you it was optional because I had you naturally. I chose to take drugs so that I could nap and then watch project runway.

Hank: You watched Project Runway while I was born?

Me: Makes a lot of sense now doesn’t it.

Pai: Be honest. She didn’t watch project runway while you were being born but during her labor.

Me: That’s right. The doctor came in and said, “Yup, it’s time,” and I was all “Can’t this wait a few more minutes? It’s the final runway show!”

Pai: It couldn’t wait.

Me: Nope. I also knew that once you were born I wouldn’t have the time to watch silly old Project Runway because I would be too busy being your mama.

Hank: But why do some ladies not take drugs?

Me: Because while you are pregnant whatever you take the baby takes: whatever you drink, eat… If you smoke the baby smokes.

Hank: And that makes the baby very sick.

Me: Yes, it does, so some mothers choose to have the baby naturally so that their baby doesn’t have to also take drugs.

Hank: What does smoking do to you?

Pai: It makes you very sick.

Me: Smoking deposits tar and other toxins into your lungs and you need your lungs to work.

Hank: Is it like… Like a tree in a construction site?

Pai: Very good analogy.

Me: Exactly like that. A tree in a construction site get coated in a thick layer of…

Hank: Dirt.

Me: Right, the leaves become coated in dust and dirt and therefore the tree is unable to breath or collect sunlight what a tree needs to live.

Hank: Poor tree they need to breath oxygen.

Me: Nope. We need trees to make oxygen. Do me a favor: breath in.

Hank: (takes a deep breath)

Me: That is your body taking oxygen into your lungs. Now, breath out.

Hank: (exhales)

Me: Once you took that oxygen into your body it was processed and you exhaled something called carbon dioxide which trees need to produce oxygen. It is a cycle. Part (loud dramatic singing) IN THE CIRCLE…  THE CIRLE OF LIFE!

Pai: (wincing)

Molly: (extremely excited at my singing, clapping and screeching along with me)

Me: (sigh) I have always wanted to be a tree. If Buddhist and Hindu religions are correct then I may have that opportunity some day.

Hank: To be a tree?

Me: Yes, or I have already been a tree. In those religions they believe that we start our journey and work our way up to being a human. We live all the lives from bug, to animal and lastly to human. You live over and over learning the most you possibly can until you have come to the highest form of enlightenment and then you can transcend to what is called Nirvana or what Christians call heaven.

Hank: And there are many kinds of religion.

Me: Yup and they all have a very important commonality: faith. Faith is the belief that there is something greater than us. There is no wrong religion. They all ask you to believe that you are on a journey to be the best possible person you can be, but none of them let you know what the end of the story is, because mystery is an important component to discovery. You can only discover who you are that way. If you knew the end of the story you wouldn’t stick around to read the middle. Religion aims to assist your soul.

Hank: (puzzled look)

Me: Do you know what a soul is?

Hank: (shaking his head no)

Me: Your soul is your personality, your imagination, why you laugh and dance and sing and make art. Your soul is what your body supports. Your body is the house for your soul. Just like a snail and his shell. Religion aims to help your soul navigate.

Hank: That is all great, but what I have really been thinking about this whole time you were talking is that I really just want a glass of water. (shaking his empty glass) May I be excused?

Pai: (snickering)

Molly: (growling)

Hank: What?

Me: (giggling) Nothing. Sure, off you go. First major dogmatic conversation and your takeaway is thirst. (shaking my head) It is just perfect really.

Hank: (walking away) I also learned about trees. That is good for my soul.

Pai: (collapsing laughing)

Me: (positively purple with laughter) True story. (wiping tears from my eyes)