Conversations…uranium and beer

I have always said that becoming a mother was the single biggest turning point in my life.  It is the moment it quit (finally) being all about me and what I want and what I need and what I can do…which was a huge relief because I am just not that interesting most of the time. 

However, becoming mother to more than one child may have changed me even more because that was when I truly realized that they really are their own unique people and they really are just wired a certain way.  It was a humbling and wildly freeing realization that I was there to guide and encourage them on their own individual journeys, not to lead them on mine.

There are moments when they remind me to sit back and enjoy the ride.  One of those moments occurred tonight in the van on the way to our weekly family-style campus wide meal at our boarding school.  The following conversation happened in the short drive from my house to the dining hall:

Henry: “Mom, why is uranium illegal?”

(NOTE:  No one had said anything about uranium at any point all afternoon.  This literally came out of nowhere.)

me: “Um, because it is used to make bombs, I guess.”

Henry: “I know, but what part of uranium is dangerous?”

me: “I don’t think uranium has ‘parts.'”

Henry: <sighing> “I mean, what ingredient in it is so bad?”

Lillian: “Henry, uranium is made of uranium just like okra is made of okra.”

Henry: <very frustrated> “I’m not asking you; I’m asking Mom.  Mom, what in it is so bad that kids can’t have it? Is it made out of beer?”

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