It all started with a couple of matching trucks

Sitting at a traffic light with Hal.

“Mommy! There’s two trucks! Do you see them?”

“Yes, honey, I do.”

“No! Those two trucks over there! They are the same color!”

“Yes, Hal, I see them. They are both gray. One is bigger than the other one. Do you think one is the big brother and the other one is his little brother?”


About then, a large red truck pulls up beside them.

“Look, Mommy! Another truck! It’s a red one!”

“Mm-hm. Is that their sister?”

“No. That’s the daddy.”

“How do you know it’s the daddy and not the sister?”

“Because their sister is dead.”


Our light has turned green. As we pass in front of them, we see a white truck behind the little gray one in the turn lane.

“And the big white truck is the grandpa. And that other one is the mommy.”


“And all the little cars are the grandmas.”

I am trying to not draw too many parallels between our make-believe truck family and Hal’s desires for our real one. Surely he loves his sister. Surely he does.

Unexpected Crayon Performance

When Jane was very young, she tried to color on some white paper with a white crayon. Predictably, she looked up and announced, “This one is broken!”

Years later, at a Pizza Hut, Daryl was coloring on the kids’ menu with a blue crayon. I could tell he was getting increasingly agitated and began to bear down harder and harder. I hadn’t noticed that the section of the menu he was coloring was printed yellow and I couldn’t fathom what the problem was. Suddenly, he threw the crayon down in disgust and exclaimed, “WHY does it keep coloring GREEN?!!”

Sometimes it’s hard to remember what it is like to be a child. What you understand may be limited to a small sampling of life, but you expect to be able to rely on the information you have mastered. It must be terribly upsetting when reality doesn’t hold up. Hal has yet to be mystified by unexpected crayon performance, but give him time. Those crayons have some nasty tricks up their sleeves.