Friday, July 21, 2006


(I was going to type “Conversations with my middle” but I didn’t want you to think I walked around all day talking to my belly button.)

(We have a lot of conversations in our family, in case you couldn’t tell.)

Scene: Driving in van

Location: A few blocks from our house, where men from the prison (probationers? Not sure) were doing lawn maintenance detail, mowing and weed-eating the public areas near our neighborhood. They’re noticeable, because they wear jumpsuits with “Prisoner” or “Probationer” across their back, they drive a big white van with PRISON DETAIL down the side, and there’s always an armed guard with them. We see them all the time, seems like they’re always *somewhere* in town, but this was the first time it sparked a conversation.

Kellen: Mom, are those bad guys? From jail?

Kristie: Well, I don’t know if they’re bad PEOPLE, but they probably did a bad thing and had to go to jail.

Kellen: Do good guys ever go to jail?

Kristie: What do you mean? Like the guard? Does he go to the jail? Or do good guys ever go IN jail?

Kellen: Do good guys ever do bad things and go to jail?

Kristie: Sure. Sometimes policemen, or firemen, or teachers, or whoever, do stupid things and they have to go to jail. Like stealing something, or hurting someone. Anyone who breaks the law has to go to jail, no matter who they are. That’s why it's so important to make good decisions in life (patting myself on the back for this High Quality Parenting Answer.)

Kellen: I think it would be cool to be a policeman and be in jail, because then you would still get to be the boss.

Kristie: (not wanting to delve into a conversation about why policeman probably have it WORSE in jail, what with the prisoners wanting retribution and the whole shower-revenge-scenario description) Oh, no, no matter who you are you don’t want to be in jail. Jail is a terrible place.

Kellen: Why?

Kristie: Well, just think about it. You have no freedom. You’ve got somebody telling you what to do, all the time. Telling you what time to get up, what you’re going to eat for breakfast, what you can do for fun, what you can’t do for fun, when you’ll eat lunch, and dinner, and what you’ll eat, what clothes you’ll wear, when you’ll go to bed ………………………… (And at this point my voice trailed off weakly, as I realized I just described the lifestyle of my very own children!) Um, never mind, Kellen. Just don’t ever go to jail.

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