Perhaps you, unlike me, do not live in a community where wearing one's religious beliefs on one's sleeve--or, even better, on one's car--is of vital importance. Perhaps you do not regularly see, as you go about your daily business, vans and trucks and cars with bumper stickers or even window transparencies that scream in large capital letters:
JESUS IS GOD
READ THE BIBLE
JESUS ES DIOS
LEA LA BIBLIA
As I say, perhaps this is not a daily occurrence for you, so perhaps this next bit won't be funny. But yesterday, as I was driving Viva home from school, I saw the following bumper sticker:
ZEUS IS GOD
READ THE ILIAD
And that struck me as really frickin' hilarious. Perhaps this is also because I had a vigorous classical education as well, but whatever. I laughed wholeheartedly when I saw it. Wholeheartedly, I say!
JUST MY IMAGINATION...RUNNIN' AWAY WITH MEEEE...
Viva is really into what they call "imaginative play" these days. That is, if you go to a toy store or a kids' toy website and look at the stuff she's into, that's where you would end up. It strikes me as kind of an odd phrase, because isn't all play on some level, imaginative? I dunno.
At any rate, she has her firefighter dress-up clothes* and toy fire engine, and she has fake jewelry and scarves, and she has the play kitchen and the play cash register and the play housecleaning set (toy-sized broom and mop, gift from her great-grandma), and now, since her birthday, she has a doctor's set.
"Come on, Mama," she says. "Panda [her monkey] is sneezing, achoo! achoo! We need to take him to the doctor."
"Oh. Am I the doctor?" I say. "Or are you?"
"I'm the doctor, you're the mama," she says.
"Okay," I say. "Well, doctor, we're here to see you today because Panda's got a little bit of a cold--"
"Can I see your insurance card?" Viva says.
"Sure, here you go," I say. I take Panda out of his stroller and place him on the examining table. "You can see that he has a little bit of a runny nose--"
"I'll need you to fill out this paperwork," Viva says, handing me a stack of forms.
"Okay, um--and he doesn't have a fever, just this really persistent, raspy cough--"
"Mrs. Blah Blah, your insurance company tells us you won't be covered for this visit because it's out-of-network, and this is a stuffed toy monkey," Viva says. "So we have to ask you to pay up front. Just hand me your wallet there, that should do it--"
It doesn't seem terribly imaginative to me, but there you go.
* Sweet William and I each separately purchased firefighter dress-up sets for Viva for Christmas, and while mine was all PC because I bought it at Lakeshore Learning, his (bought at either a local drug store or Big Lots or something) was decidedly not so. I say this because the one he bought included a plastic axe (!?! honestly, what rocket scientist decided that was a good idea for a kids' toy?) and a firefighter helmet with a label that said, "Mr. Fireman" on it. Since you know I'm not down like that, it shouldn't surprise you that I took a Sharpie and wrote "MS. FIRE CHIEF" over it. That's right, fuck the patriarchy and all that. It's been thirty-plus years since "Free to Be You and Me." Somebody needs to get with the program.