C (from the back seat, out last-minute Christmas shopping): I spy, with my little eye, something that is indivisible.
D (driving): Something that is what?
F: God? No, Cory, no. You can’t say God because God is dead.
C: No, that isn’t it.
F: And so is Cheesus.
C: Cheesus is God’s friend.
F: And he died, too.
C: But, that isn’t the answer, Fisher! Stop saying that. It’s air.
F: God and his friend Cheesus are dead.
C: Fisher! I told you. It’s air.
D: Air is invisible?
F: Daddy, who is Cheesus?
D: He was a man who lived 2000 years ago.
C: Wow. That’s a long time.
F: But who he was?
D: He was a man who went around his country telling everyone that the rich people needed to stop being so mean to the poor people, to stop hoarding all the money to keep them poor and to keep themselves rich.
F: Cheesus didn’t like the rich people like Mitt Ronemey?
D (smiling): Well, yes. The rich people were really rich, and the poor people were really poor. And Jesus told everyone how wrong that was.
C: Did everyone listen?
D: Well, they listened for a little while, but the rich people didn’t like what they heard.
F: Because they were rich?
D: I suppose so.
C: But, Cheesus was God’s friend, right?
D: Some people think so, yes.
C: Then, those rich people should listen to him because he’s God’s friend.
F: Daddy, is air indivisible?
D: Yes, it’s invisible.
F: No, it’s not.
D: Why do you say that?
F: Because er, eh, uh, when the morning is cold and I can see the air coming out of your mouth. I can see it, so it isn’t always indivisible.
Nothing like a spoonful of Christianity-country-and-chemistry stew.
The family just returned from an amazing trip to Kansas City to visit the “Wickey clan” – in quotation marks because that clan now includes many blended additions. Daddy and Papa enjoyed everything, from beginning to end, and apparently the kids did, too…
F (ten minutes after takeoff from KCI): Daddy, are we in California now?
D: No, not yet, we are still in Kansas.
F (smiling): Good!
F (half hour later): Daddy, now are we in California?
D: No, not yet, but I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore!
F: But, are we in California yet?
D: No, not yet.
F turns to window and smiles.
F (after pilot announces descent): Daddy, now are we in California?
D: Yep. The pilot just said we’re headed down to the San Francisco airport.
F: No! I don’t want to go back to California. I want to stay in Kansas City with Lydia and Stevie.
D: Well, we have to go to our house and make sure our dogs are happy. Don’t you want to see Boston and Quincy and Kohl?
F (sad face): Yah, but I don’t want to be in California anymore.
Later, at bedtime…
C: Daddy, what is a “step monster”?
D: Well, a stepparent is a new parent. Some people get married, have kids, and then decide to get divorced. That means that they decide that even though they love their kids so super much, they don’t want to be married anymore. So, they live in different houses.
F: And they are a stepmom?
D: No. After the two parents move into different houses, they decide to marry someone new. Then, that new parent is a stepparent. A stepmom or stepdad.
C: So, Ben and Lydia have a stepmom?
D: Yes, Aunt Therese. Uncle Tim married Aunt Therese fter he married and divorced Ben’s and Lydia’s mom.
F: And Cousin Danielle has a stepdad?
D: Yes, that’s Uncle Tim. Because her mom married someone else, got divorced, and married Uncle Tim. So, he’s her stepdad.
C: I want a stepdad!
F: Yah, I want a step, er, uh, eh, one!
C: Because then there can be so many different ones…
F: …like a step-papa or stepmom or step-daddy.
D (laughing): Well, I think your Daddy and Papa are not going to get divorced; so, you aren’t likely to have a stepmom or stepdad. But, that’s okay. It’s okay just to have your Daddy and your Papa. And it’s okay if other kids do have stepparents. Not everyone has to be the same.
C: It would be fun to have stepparents, though.
D (smiling at the “up is down” of it all): Yes, it can be. Like, in Uncle Tim’s and Aunt Therese’s house. But, you don’t want Daddy and Papa to live in different houses, do you?
C (horrified): No!
D: So, you will just have to be happy with so many new aunts and uncles.
F: Okay, Daddy, but can we have a step, er, uh, eh, one but that that person lives in a different house, but you and Papa live in our house?
D: Yes. Those are called aunts and uncles. And they are super fun, aren’t they?
Definitely less a hope for division at home and more an endorsement of the love, joy, and holiday good times in Kansas City.