And painful. It feels like I am either about to sprout the world's most humongous zit, or I somehow bruised a tiny spot just at the tip of my nose. I have no idea which it is -- it's been like this for several days, so if it was a zit, I'd think it would have popped up by now, and if it was a bruise, I'd think it would be getting better.
But in the meantime, I look like the caricature of a drunkard, with my red-tipped nose.
As Matt said, we appear to be raising something of a brutal realist of a child. He got to look through Penny's writing journal at Back-to-School night, in which the kids answer questions and draw pictures. One question posed was, "What will you be like when you are 100 years old?" Penny's response: "When I am 100 years old, I will be dead and rotten."
Alex has latched onto Penny's favorite game of pretending to be a family of ___, filling in the blank with whatever she's currently thinking about. Family of dragons, cats, horses, dinosaurs, lions, ghosts, whatever. Then we all have to say what kind of ___ we are. "I'm a white kitten." "I'm a blue dragon that breathes ice." "I'm a triceratops." Like that. Just lately, it's been vampires on Penny's mind.
The other day, riding in the car, Alex said, apropos of nothing: "We be a family of vampires?"
"Sure, kiddo, we can be a family of vampires."
"I'm a T-rex vampire!"
...Well. I guess he wins, then.
Last night, Penny was reading a book from the library. "Mom? Is this guy a prince?" She held up the book to show me the classic actor-with-skull Hamlet pose.
"Um, kind of," I said. "It's a play about a prince."
"Why is he holding a skull?"
"It's a very famous scene from a very famous play."
"Do you know it?"
"Yep. I've read it four times, and seen it performed a lot."
"What's it about?"
...How would you try to summarize Hamlet for a 7-year-old? Like much great literature, it's got a shocking amount of sex and violence. I did, in fact, do my best to lay out the basic plot (using our own family to illustrate the ick factor of suddenly discovering that your uncle has become your stepfather), and not leaving out that Hamlet pretends to go mad, then actually (possibly, depending on your interpretation) goes mad, definitely drives Ophelia mad and to suicide, and that by the end of the play, pretty much everyone is dead.
(...tying into her new mild morbid streak and the previous anecdote about her, I suppose.)
Then we looked at what was actually in her book. The picture was of one of the characters' grandfathers, who had been an actor. So I tried to explain to her about how, because it's such a complicated and difficult part to play, a lot of actors want to play Hamlet, because if they do a good job, it's a big achievement for them. So by having a picture in her book of this guy's grandfather as Hamlet, they were showing us that he was actually a really good actor.
Penny constantly surprises me with how smart she is. I was really impressed at how much she seemed to understand of what I was telling her, though of course, I doubt she got it all. When she'd finished reading her book, she looked up at me and said, "Mom? When can I see Hamlet?"
Ah, sex and violence sings its siren song, even to the 7-year-old set. I told her we'd talk about it again when she was in high school.
I discovered last night, quite by accident, that my ebook Of One Mind has been released to online distributors and is now available at Amazon.Com, AllRomance ebooks, Coffee Time Romance, and probably other distributors that I don't know about. (It's even on sale at Coffee Time -- if you haven't yet, you can pick it up there for only $2.99!)
I know several friends have picked it up (even one or two who have no intention of actually reading it, just to be supportive, which is definitely above and beyond the call of duty!) but I have one smallish request for those of you who did read it... Pretty please take ten seconds to click through and rate the book? Or even take two minutes and write a quick customer review? By all means be anonymous and honest if you didn't like it, but people are more likely to pick up a book on a whim if they see that other people have also done so. I'd really appreciate it!
And if I haven't said it before: to everyone who bought my book, thank you so much for your support. It really means a lot to me!