Tuesday, February 07, 2012

I'm a pirate!

On Saturday Rachel game with me for the dance practice my mom, sister, and I had. She was asking a lot of questions about it in the car on the way to BYU. We gave her the brief rundown:

It's called Saman. It's a dance from the Indonesian island of Aceh. It's kind of related to Gamelan, which is music from the Indonesian island of Bali. 

Rachel might be one of only a few North American four-year-olds who knows what Gamelan is so she didn't ask for more of an explanation about that. Instead she asked what an island was.

It's a piece of land surrounded by water. But America isn't an island because we're on a continent which is connected to another continent which, yes, is surrounded by water...but when we say island we usually are talking about a piece of land that's relatively small. For example, if there's a big river—like the Nile—then sometimes you can just look straight across the river to the other side. But sometimes there's a piece of land right in the middle of the water and the water flows on both sides of the land so you need a bridge to get across to the main land but it can still be big enough for people to live on—like, remember how Miriam was born on an island in the Nile? We had to cross a bridge to get to the hospital because the hospital was on an island!

She seemed to understand that answer and was able to talk about some other things. And she was an absolute gem during the practice—she coloured in her colouring book and watched us practice and sang along with the words that she remembered and only bothered me once so I could give her some help opening her granola bar. And Auntie Josie took her to get a drink but only because Auntie Josie was going to get one, anyway.

She didn't say much about the practice later—or I took a nap and don't remember her talking about it—but by the time dinner rolled around her mind had wandered back to the topic of islands and dancing.

First she couldn't seem to understand whose BYU kids those were. Her words.

"Whose BYU kids were those?" she asked. "Were they Grandpa's?"

"No. None of those kids were in Grandpa's ward."

"Oh. Were they Daddy's BYU kids, then?"

"No. None of those kids are in the MPA program."

"Well then whose BYU kids are they?"

"I guess they're kind of...mine."


"Yes. Mine. And Naanii's. And Auntie Josie's."

"!? You don't even go to BYU!"

"I did once."

"You did?!"

"Yes—you know that. I graduated before you were born."

"Oh. What does graduated mean?"

"It means I finished all the classes they said I had to take so they gave me a piece of paper that says that I learned something at their school and could move on with my life. So then I married your daddy and became a mom."

"Oh. But then how do you know these BYU kids if you went to BYU a long time ago?"

"I met them today, just like you."

"So they're my BYU kids."


Completely changing gears Rachel then said, "So, what was Naanii talking about when she said Miriam was born on an island in the middle of the Nile?"

"Oh, well, there's an island called Rhoda in the Nile—it's pretty big. Big enough for streets and cars and buildings and houses. And that's where the hospital was that Miraim was born in. So she really was born on an island in the middle of the Nile."

Miriam looked confused for a minute, like she was trying to put two and two together. Then all of a sudden she threw both arms up into the air and shouted, "WAHOO! is a pirate!"

She put two and two together and came up with seven-billion. Her answer was much more exciting than four, don't you think? Days later she is still convinced she's a pirate. For fun we keep asking her about it.

"Where were you born, Miriam?"

"On an island!"

"And that makes you..."

"A pirate!"

"Wow! How come?"

"'Cuz! Pirates is born on islands—captain says so!"

Can't really argue with that logic, can you?


  1. I am laughing out loud right now. This story is AWESOME!!

  2. I am laughing out loud right now. This story is AWESOME!!