Their view is different from ours

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 6, 2011

“Mommy? Do they speak another language over there?”

The youngest one spoke up just as we were crossing the Lillian Bridge, the two-lane bridge that connects Escambia County, Fla., with Baldwin County. Ala.

I’d made the grand announcement we were crossing from Alabama to Florida as the last leg of a monumental journey from Andalusia to just this side of Orange Beach – a little town called Elberta, which also happened to be the home of my aunt and uncle on my mother’s side and the site of our Monday family reunion.

I’d made the determination to go before my car broke down Friday, forcing me to get a rental car. In this case, it was a rental van – a Chrystler Town and County that made me rethink my “I hate minivans and will never own one” mentality. It’s got three rows of seats – one section for each child. No more, “She’s touching me” or cries from a short altercation between sisters. It actually made the ride quite nice.

But her comment also made me rethink the way I look at the world. I sometimes forget that, as children, they haven’t had the luxury of a lifetime of learning. They don’t know that sometimes two pieces of land joined by a bridge are part of one bigger piece of land. It’s easy to see how they’d get a little confused.

The entire weekend was filed with little insights into their world.

The middle one was steadfast in her opinion that her new hot pink bathing suit was not for her. It was totally cute. Electric silver piping, it looked just like a superhero costume, it you were a hot pink, pint size crime fighter.

And you know, when I explained that theory to her and she donned the two-piece, I had to pry her out of it each time I pulled them out of the pool.

As for the oldest, well, she’s a smart girl.

The youngest asked me on the way home “how many more minutes?” I said, “five more minutes.”

“How many times I count to 5 for that?”

“Ahh, 120.”

One second later, the oldest said, “Momma, that’s 10 minutes, not five.”


“Good math, smart girl,” I said. “I was checking to see if you were paying attention.”

As we pulled into the yard, I was a little sad our four-day weekend was over. Don’t get me wrong, I was grateful to get out of the car after a three-hour drive in crazy traffic and downpours, but I was a bit disappointed to see how much my girls were one step closer to being grown up.

And as I dragged myself and the luggage up the front steps, I couldn’t help but think I wished they were a little older and would remember to help their mother clean out the car.