This will probably bring back many memories to any of us having had experiences with small children's conversations. For most people Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on what we've been given and to savor the scents of crisp autumn days and pumpkin pie, but for this woman it has a whole different meaning.
One November afternoon when my daughter was in kindergarten, I picked her up after school. She bobbed out to the car and crawled into the back seat. "What did you do today?" I asked. She couldn't wait to tell me. "We learned that boys are different from girls" she chirped.
Looking into the rearview mirror I could just see the top of her head. "My teacher told us that boys have a thing the girls don't," she added. "Well, yes they do..." I said cautiously. Then she piped up again, "That's how girls know that boys are boys. They see that thing hanging down and they know that he's a boy...".
I mentally calculated the distance home. Our five-minute commute already felt like an hour. "Did you know that when the boys see a girl they puff up?" My palms were beginning to sweat. "Um...well.." I was still searching for something to say to change the subject, when she asked, "Why do the girls like boys to have those things?" Well I didn't know what to say. I mean, what woman hasn't asked herself that very same question at least once?
"Oh, well...um...", I stammered. She didn't wait for my answer. She had her own. "It's cause it moves when they walk and when girls see that they know they're boys and that's when they like them. Then the boy sees the girl and he puffs up, then the girl really knows he likes her too. And then they get married. And then they get cooked".
That last part confused me a bit, but on the whole I thought she had a pretty good grasp on things.
As soon as we got home she hopped out of the car, fishing something out of her school bag. "I drew a picture," she said. "...you want to see?" I wasn't all that sure I did, but I looked anyway.
I had to sit down. There, all puffed up so to speak, looking mighty attractive for the ladies, was a crayon drawing of a great big Tom Turkey. His snood, the thing that hangs down over his beak, the thing that female turkeys find so irresistible, was magnificent. His tail feathers were standing tall and proud.
She was a little offended that I laughed so hard at her drawing. I laughed until I cried. But I told her I loved it - and I did - and she got over her pique.