So, as is typical, January arrived with various illnesses and forced isolation for this family. It is almost always in January that we get sick, but sometimes it happens in March. The other thing that triggers illness is intense and rapid changes in weather. I'm talking about 20-30 degree difference in temperature and weather. For the past three weeks we've had a few days of 60 degree days, then a few days of 20 degree days. This has happened multiple times. The "gunk" tends to stick around when it's like this!
Anyway, that is neither here nor there, but it does give a reference to the irritability meter of the members of our household.
Let me add that my husband has started graduate school.
We were all sitting around the living-room one night this week after dinner, doing school work, or reading various assignments or books. You know, just hanging out. It was 7 PM. I know it was 7 because I was counting down the minutes till the time I could appropriately retreat to my bedroom. I start coveting my bed at five PM during the winter months, because, you know, winter.
"I need to construct a framework for a policy making something-something related to problems with homeland security."
He looks around expectantly at us. Danielle and I raise our eyebrows and make the type of face that conveys, "let me process this issue and come up with a solution for said issue within the next few minutes." We are both fixers.
Katie, though, immediately answers, "Well!" --She pauses for dramatic effect because, you know, she is Katie. "I think we should be able to put signs in our yard that say go to church or we worship Jesus and we shouldn't get in trouble for that, because if more people went to church, there would be less crime!"
She is met with a long moment of silence. Danielle rolls her eyes, Tommy flaps a little, and Mark looks a little frustrated (and irritable, he was one of the sick ones). I, of course, am like, "that's my girl." She has addressed homeland security as it pertains to her homeland, and her security. Right on!
Because I speak Katie-speak, I know that she means Homeland security starts at home, and she is thinking of securing her neighborhood. Plus, she has discovered that Jesus is always the correct answer. Before Mark can implode, I very helpfully try to translate Katie-speak into Mark-speak, because I speak Mark-speak, as well, and I know he is about to say something to the effect of, "What are you even talking about?!? What does that have to do with anything?!?!" I don't want anyone's feelings to be hurt, so I translate for everyone often at our house.
So, we end up discussing Katie's ideas and we encourage her to think a bit more broadly. Questions get bantered back and forth about potential homeland security issues, ideas start to be formulated. Conversation is starting to pick up about frameworks, policies, and security issues. We begin to sound very smart, indeed.
At this moment, Tommy decides to weigh in.
"Well, if aliens from outer space try to land here, that would be a huge homeland security issue, because, you know, they are truly illegal aliens!"
Danielle puts her head in her hands while the rest of us turn to look at Tommy. We were doing so well.
"Of course, unless they were invited, which they might be; the government covers everything up, now."
Friends, he's serious. This is what happens at our house. So, because I also speak Tommy-speak, I attempt to start translating his idea, but we are all already lost at this point. I'm trying not to laugh. Danielle is laughing. Katie just looks confused. Mark is looking at us like, "I can't even do anything with that."
And he's not wrong, you know. The phrase, "I can't even," was invented for families like mine.
Before Tommy started to add anymore alien insight into the conversation, I over-ruled the situation by dismissing Tommy and Katie from the discussion, and then I quickly retreated to my room, claiming the need for a bath (and the chocolate I keep hidden in my sock drawer).
Sometimes love looks like ending a discussion before it gets any crazier. The moral of this story, of course, is that homeland security looks different for everyone, although I'm pretty sure Mark's grad school assignment referred to a more geo-political framework, and not the outer-space issue, nor a homeowners association issue. Just in case, though, we have everything covered at our house:)