My kids are leading a fairly sheltered life. We are very active in our Catholic church, the kids all attend Catholic schools and nearly all of their friends are Catholic. But, this past week, they made some new friends.
Last Monday, our neighbor's house caught fire. They have lived there for less than a year and, even though we know them well enough to say hello, we really don't know them well. That has now changed. When I saw the firetrucks, I immediately went over to check on them. They had an attic fire that started above their four year old son's room. It was a chilly morning and they were all huddled together in the front yard while the fire department did their job inside. I offered to take the kids (Christy, 7 and Ronnie, 4) to my house while the adults dealt with the aftermath. The kids gladly came with me and they got along great with my kids.
I am always careful of what my kids are exposed to when around new people, especially new kids. I am particular about what movies and T.V. shows my kids watch, what toys they play with, etc. Also, I tend to eavesdrop on their conversations because you never know what some kids are going to "teach" my kids.
So, here is a conversation I overheard between Christy and Sophia.
Christy : I have two dads and two brothers. One of my brothers is older than me and lives in Bishop so I don't see him much. You're lucky you get to see your brothers a lot. My cousin has three dads and two sisters but she never gets to see her sisters. Two of her dads lived with her at the same time and she used to call one of them uncle, but when her dad moved out she had to start calling her uncle dad. How many dads do you have?
Sophia : Umm. I think I just have one.
Christy : Only one? So how did you get so many brothers and a sister?
While trying to smother my laughter at the total befuddlement of both girls, I was also greatly saddened. For Christy, immersed in "modern" society, multiple fathers and random siblings is completely normal. Divorce, remarriage, half siblings, step siblings, all of these are everyday occurrences for most people. However, we are quite happy in our sheltered little world with one father, one mother, and regular siblings that you have to live with all the time.