It was last Thursday afternoon, right after school. We were in the car, headed to Trader Joe's. The boy was complaining about school, like he does. Then the conversation took a sharp turn.
The Boy: "What I'd really like to know is, what makes us us?"
Me: "I'm sorry? What do you mean by that?" The hell? I thought we were talking about the trials and tribulations of fourth grade.
TB: "I mean, how'd we get here? And I'm not talking about the Big Bang or evolution or anything like that. I mean, what came before that? What made the Big Bang happen?"
Me: "Hmmm. That's a great question. That's a question that scientists and philosophers have been trying to figure out for centuries. Thousands of years. No one knows."
TB: "Really? Huh. Maybe I can do that when I grow up. Be a scientist. Because I'd really like to know."
Me: "That's a great idea. Really interesting..."
TB: "And Mom? There's something else that's been really bothering me."
Me: "What's that?"
TB: "Why don't you let me buy the kind of chewing gum I like?"