Thursday, April 22, 2010

The First State

Sometimes even very communicative five year-olds have a hard time putting the mysterious thoughts that bounce around in their heads into words we adults can understand. This weekend in the car, I listened to the following conversation between David and Primo:

Primo: “What is the first state?”

David: “You mean the first civilization that ever was?”

“No, no. I mean the FIRST state.”

“What do you mean by first? Like, in history?”

“Do you know the number one? Zero, then one? I mean number one, the FIRST.”

“I am familiar with the meaning of first. I just don’t know what you mean.”

Sigh. Primo would have to backtrack a bit, catch his dad up.

“You know Australia? That’s almost the last state.”

“In what way is Australia the last state? You know, I don’t think you mean states, really, I think you mean – “

Australia is almost the last but what I want to know is what is the FIRST one?”

“Do you mean in terms of longitude and latitude?”

Primo looked at his father like he was a hopeless case. Hopeless.

So I piped in:

New York,” I said, “New York is the first. And the best.”

That settled it.