Attacking the fruit bowl

Pai:  (peeling an orange)

Me: Oh I love the smell of oranges!

Hank: But you can’t eat one.

Me: Nope.

Hank: Papa, why did mommy get allergic to oranges?

Me:  Yah, Why did I,  Alfredo?

Pai:  Well, your body got confused.  When you eat an orange your body thinks it is under attack.

Hank:  Do you hear that, my mama?

Me: Yup.

Pai:  Your mommy misses eating oranges, but if she eats one her body makes her sick.  That is an allergy.

Me:  I get too sick to even want to try and eat one.

Hank: Because you are being attacked.

Me:  Yes. When I was your age my Grammy use to get boxes of oranges from her friends in Florida, which is where they grow in America.  Each orange was wrapped in blue paper like a present and I could eat as many as I wanted.  Oh I loved oranges, but its ok.  I can still love the smell, and orange blossoms make me so happy in the spring and these pears are perfectly ripe.

Pai: Argh! (wincing) But not these kiwis.  Oh.  They are (takes another bite) so sour! Acrid (tart, sour)!

Hank:  Quick! Eat another orange!


From the door of my office, Hank stands holding a broom


Hank:  Hello Mama, is this your office?  It is very nice.  I have not seen it before.  This is my first visit.  I have been gone.  I have just returned form a long visit to the moon.

Me:  Welcome home.  How was the moon?

Hank:  It was lovely.  The moon had a mouth and eyes and he gave me a book and he told me a story.

Me:  What was the story?

Hank:  Once upon a time there was a moon who had a son.  The moon loved the son and the son loved the moon.  Every day the boy would dance and laugh and play on the moon and the moon would watch the boy, but the moon was always sad because he knew that one day his filho (son) would turn to stone, just like him, and that was natural, but also a bit sad because there would be no more games.  The End.

Me: (pause.  taking it all in)  What a gift the moon has given you.  Thank you for sharing that story. You know not everything that is beautiful is happy.

Hank:  I know that.  The moon told me.


Revelations while reading James and the Giant Peach


Me: Hank, did you hear that?

Hank:  No, I was not listening.  Read it again,  please.

Me:  “Well,” the Earthworm said.  “Next time you stand in a field or in a garden and look around you, then just remember this:  that every grain of soil upon the surface of the land, every tiny little bit of soil that you can see has actually passed through the body of an Earthworm during the last few years!  Isn’t that wonderful?”

Hank: What does that mean?

Me: Listen…  “You mean you actually swallow soil?”  “Like mad,” the Earthworm said proudly, “In one end and out the other.”

Hank: (questioning face)

Me: Earthworms eat soil like you eat food.  So the soil goes in one end, their mouth and out the other… (points to his bottom)

Hank:  Soil is worm poop?

Me:  Yup.

Hank: It’s all poop.

Me: Yup. Soil is worm poop.  Isn’t that amazing.

Hank:  Poop is everywhere.