The house that the wife and I purchased has a fireplace. I’m not stranger to fireplaces, as we heated our house that way for ten or twelve years when I was a kid. Yesterday, I built the second fire that we have ever had in the fireplace. The folks that owned the house before us had never, not once, had a fire, even though they obviously had gone to great expense to build the fireplace.
I had the fire all laid and was about to light it, when then girls sat down beside me, to witness the novelty of a fire in the fireplace.
“Get on the couch please,” I asked. “The fire might pop and snap, and throw hot coals.”
My oldest yelled in her mad dash, “Last one on the sofa is a rotten egg!”
The two of them settled in as I got off my knees and walked to the sofa as the fire started to crackle.
“Well,” I said, ”I’m the last one to the couch, does that mean I’m the rotten egg? I got the fire going, that should count for something.”
The oldest sat and thought about that for a minute and as I took my seat she said, “You’re not rotten. You’re only 10% Rotten.”
Later in the evening, after dinner, I was sitting in front of my roaring fire as the youngest came in from the dinner table. She went to the large green chair and climbed up, over the stack of blankets, sweaters, and coats that had been stacked there. Once on top of the pile, she crossed her legs and folded her hands in her lap and looked me straight in the eye and asked, ”So, what’s the problem?”
“What’s the problem?” I asked, not sure at all that I had heard her right.
She took her left hand from her lap and tapped her temple with her finger, “Your brain,” she said. “It’s your brain,” she said.
I conceded that that was where most problems start and tried very hard to conceal my laughter.
Today, the oldest asked me if I knew where babies come from.
I told her yes, and tried to leave it at that.