Picture this: I brace myself at the wheel for the whirlwind tousled blond climbing into the booster seat in back, kind teacher pushing, shoving, buckling her in while my little one yells good bye out the window to a waiting line of classmates. I pull out laughing and we sing, making up our own rendition to Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer. Lots of animals included here. After dogs came cats. Kittens with tiny meows and then I roared. She said, “Are you a lion?” And this is the point of ‘and then she said.’ A learning opportunity.
“A lioness is ferocious protecting her cubs. When I had little kids and even now, I’m like a lioness always trying to keep bad people and bad things away from my children. Just the same way your mom protects you and takes care of you.”
Quiet in the back for a moment. And then she said in a firm tough voice, “I can take care of myself. If a bad guy comes near me I’ll punch him in the nose and kick him in the butt. Don’t worry about me, Grans.”
We talked about Taekwando, mommy,lions and rounded the corner in her peaceful neighborhood. My cell phone announced musically a call from her mom. I handed it to my darling five year old. As she walked away for privacy I heard her say in a little girl voice, “Hi Mommy, how soon are you coming home?”