The wonder-filled life of a single older-ish mom.

Archive for the tag “rice”

Of Rice And War

We were tucked into a plush bed long after bedtime in a lodge in the Smokies, and Nina wanted a bedtime snack — which I didn’t have. She whined, asking how I could possibly be so unprepared, reminding me that mamas should plan ahead when away from home.

We volleyed back and forth. She asserted, “You should have packed snacks,” and I replied, “You should have eaten your dinner.”

After we repeated our lines several times, I finally said in exasperation, “Nina, it’s not like you’re standing in a long line at a refugee camp waiting for a bowl of rice.”


Then, in the darkness right next to me she whispered, “What’s a refugee?”

A backup beep-beep signal flared in my mind as I realized what I’d stepped into. I tried to explain simply, and she became quiet again.

Then, “Mama? Why do people have wars?”

Beep, beep. I faltered through that explanation as well, and she was quiet for several minutes. I held my breath, willing her to fall asleep so I wouldn’t have to bluff my way through more simplification of the complexities of the human race.

“But Mama,” she piped up, “Why do the refugees order Chinese food?”

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