We were driving past the community pool the other day when Angie told me of her latest aspiration.

“Mama, I think I’m finally ready for my drowning lessons,” she said.

“Drowning lessons?” I said. “What are those?”

“Oh, you know. At the pool, when you go underwater, they teach you how to come back up.”

It was such an innocent declaration, but honestly — does it get any more profound than that?

It seems to me that life is just one big drowning lesson. After divorce, the loss of a loved one or any other disappointment, whether big or small, each of us is learning how to find our way back to the surface.

Sometimes it takes a 4-year-old to point out the simplest, most undeniable truths. I swear, I wouldn’t know half the things I know if not for my daughter’s backseat revelations.

When Angie is grown, she will never believe me when I tell her all the funny and thoughtful things she said when she was little. That’s why I am documenting them right here, right now.

You’ll back me, won’t you?

After hearing the ingredients

for chocolate chip muffins:

Angie: “Mom, why is it called chicken powder?”

Me: “Honey, it’s baking powder.”

Angie: “Yeah, that sounds more like it.”

Monday morning. I’m late for class:

“Bye Mom. I love you more than a blue whale and 78 other really big things.”

Afternoon walk, as we stop

to smell pink flowers:

“So what kind of flowers are these, anyway? Chimpanzees?”

Lying in her bed, after a timeout:

Angie: “So Mom, I’ve been wondering. How are babies made?”

Me: “Umm…”

Angie: “Moms don’t have tools in their bodies to make babies. So how are babies made?”

Me: “Well, mamas grow babies in their bodies, kind of like the seeds that grow in our garden.”

Angie: “Oh, I get it. That makes sense.”

(Me: Phew.)

Sunday, 5:56 a.m.:

“Wake up mama, I forgot what your beautiful face looks like.”

In the backseat of Grandma’s

car with her cousin, who is also 4:

Angie: “So Briana, tell me what you don’t like about grownups.”

Briana: “They are always telling me what to do.”

Angie: “Totally! I don’t like that either.”

On the freeway:

“Mom, don’t laugh when I say this, but a GPS is a satellite that tells you where to go and what to do — kind of like a mom who lives in space.”

During a game of Hungry, Hungry Hippo:

“Mama, do you know how beautiful you are? You are more beautiful than my nightgowns and my tank tops and all of the world. Let’s hug each other.”

Bedtime:

Angie: “Ouch! I think I have a flashlight in my eye!”

Me: “You mean an eyelash?”

Angie: “Yeah, that’s it.”

Wishing well, penny in hand,

at Santa’s Village:

“I wish that all the things in the world would happen to me and Mama, except for the bad things that happen in scary movies.”

In the shower:

“I’m happy to have a mom like you. You take good care of me. You’re nice to me, sometimes. But other times, you’re just plain awful!”

Wendy Fontaine’s “Party of Two” column appears the first and third Sundays of the month. Her e-mail address is: [email protected] Follow Party of Two on Facebook and read her blog at PerseveringParents.com.


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