Sometimes my boys, ages six and three, ask hard questions. Not just questions about where babies come from, but questions I never could have anticipated or prepared for, questions that I either lack the expertise to answer or that lead me to unexpectedly dark places. I present five of these questions, in scenes.
Amusement park, end of long day. Boy, age 6, sits on bench eating Dippin’ Dots, while Mom stands anxiously near him.
Six-year-old: (reads side of Dippin’ Dots bowl, tipping it dangerously) Ice cream of the future. How do we know the future will be in space?
Mom: Uh, we don’t. It might. People, for a while, thought that we might be able to live in space. So maybe in the future we would live there. And some people do live there right now.
Six-year-old: How many?
Mom: (thinks about International Space Station but confuses it a little with Biodome, the Pauly Shore film about living in a self-sufficient dome in the desert) Like, maybe five? Or seven.
Mom: They’re just trying it out.
Mom: Just in case things don’t work out on Earth.
Six-year-old: WHY WOULD THINGS NOT WORK OUT ON EARTH?!! (Dippin’ Dots scatter everywhere)