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Daily Archives: July 8, 2015

Well, Then

The other evening we were driving into town when we drove past a house that had been recently gutted in a fire–it was the first time I’d noticed it, so I blurted out my alarm before I thought better of it. Quinlan was really concerned. “What it a fire?” She asked this as we drove past the home, her eyes lingering on the burnt-out window frames, the blackened walls. “Or did somebody gun it?” David looked at me, eyes wide. Gun it?! he mouthed. What the–?? We told her it was a fire, feeling kind of helpless in the face of her shock. And then she asked me this: “What IS a fire, Mommy?” And then I stuttered a lot, because “fire” is one of those words you just sort of know, but in no way know how to explain when a five-year-old puts you on the spot and requests that you explain it, in detail, for her. “Well, Quinlan,” I said. I was fishing around in my brain for a definition and coming up blank, and Dave wasn’t much…