Unsettling Conversations With My Kid

One of the things I love most about being a mom is simply talking with my boys. We discuss current events, politics, what’s going on at school, their latest fantasy baseball trades, etc. But my absolute favorites are the creative, ridiculous story-weaving “what-if” conversations. Like the time, Andrew spent 10 minutes speculating about the pros and cons of being a bald eagle or other type of raptor.

“Well, I wouldn’t be able to wear socks and regular shoes. Guess I’d be stuck wearing flip flops everyday.”

That conversation evolved into…

“What road rage gestures do birds make when someone cuts them off in traffic?”

“What football team do you think Ayla (our hound) would root for?”

“Well, the Browns, of course!”

Last night’s conversation with my ten-year-old Jack took creative what-if’s to a whole new level of strangeness. On one hand I’m thrilled with his vivid imagination. On the other hand, I’m thinking “Good Lord, Kid! You’re scaring me.

One hand and the other hand. That’s actually what the conversation was about.

JACK: Mom, what if you were holding hands with someone and your hands got stuck together, like so completely stuck together that the only way to separate them was to cut one of them off at the wrist. Would you rather be the person whose hand was amputated at the wrist? Or the other person, the one who had to spend the rest of their life with someone else’s severed hand dangling off of their hand?

ME (wondering if I should schedule an appointment with a child psychiatrist): What a question!!! Can’t say I’ve ever pondered that before. Let me think.

JACK: I’d rather be the one missing my hand at the wrist. It’d be a lot more acceptable in public to be missing a hand than to have an extra one permanently hanging off of your hand. Especially after the separation surgery! You’d have a bloody, severed hand to take care of. It’d ruin your clothes and bed sheets. And you’d probably wind up holding a grudge against the person whose hand you got stuck with.

Imagine trying to clap at a concert! And what if it was attached to your right hand…and you were right handed?

ME: Why couldn’t doctors just remove the extra hand from yours?

JACK: Because that wasn’t part of my question.

ME: Might just be easier to stay permanently connected to the other person.

JACK: I bet the two of you would be BEAST at Red Rover!

ME: See! There’s an upside to everything.


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