Middle Child is gone this week. She left this morning, at 6am, headed for Kentucky, to spend the week working with Appalachian Service Project. I am immensely proud of her for this, despite the fact that it meant I had to spend a bunch of money I didn't have on things like work jeans and safety goggles, and I also had to get up at 5am today. "5 in the morning" is a misrepresentation, in my opinion- it should be called "5 in the middle of the night". That being said, I've spent my life studiously avoiding any awareness of that time of day, only occasionally bumping into it from the midnight side. It is proof of my devotion and pride that I roused my carcass at that time today to drive her somewhere, rather than simply kicking my husband until he got up and did it.
In any event, because she's going to be gone for an entire week, I thought I should address the subject with Small One. Small One is crazy about her big sister, and asks me incessantly where she is if she even leaves for a few hours, so I thought maybe I could do some preemptive question answering and save myself some "but where IS she?" time this week. Here's how it went:
Me: Hey, did you know that your sister went on a trip this morning?
Small: She went away? Where did she went away?
Me: Well, she went on a trip with a bunch of other people...
Small: (interrupting) A bunch of people? What's their names?
Me: They have a bunch of different names, but they're from our church.
Small: Where they going?
Me: They're going to Kentucky, to do some work.
Small: They going to work on a ducky?
Me: No, they went to a place called Kentucky.
Me: Sure. And they're working on houses for people.
Small: They work on the people's houses?
Me: Yes, they work on people's houses to make them safe and warm.
Small: Because the people are sad?
Me: Er... sometimes, sure. But your sister is going to help work on the houses to make them safe and warm. Isn't that nice?
Small: Are they sad because they miss their mommies?
Me: Maybe, but your sister is going to help them with their houses...
Small: And they miss their daddies?
Me: I don't know, sweetie, but isn't it nice of your sister to...
Small: What's their daddies' names?
Yeah, I don't think that went particularly well. Safe travels, Middle Child! I'll be here answering nonsensical questions all week.