Following in the family tradition started last year, Girlie, Boyo and I made America a birthday cake yesterday.
Triple Chocolate Fudge with white icing and red and blue decorations.
And then Girlie asked me to "tell her the words" why America had a birthday.
Geez, how do you explain a revolution to a five year old?
My explanation -- with her MANY, MANY interruptions -- went something like this:
"Well, Monkey, America is a country."
"What's a country?"
"It's where we live -- it's a group of people who decided that they want to live together in a big community and follow the same rules."
"Like a planet?"
"No, countries are on planets."
"Oh. So where is God?"
"Holding us in His hands?"
"Did he make America?"
"Some people think so."
"Are they wrong?"
"No, but God just helped. See, a long time ago..."
Girlie, interrupting again, "Was Daddy there?"
"No. It was almost 250 years ago."
"So as old a Grandma."
I stifled the laugh and the groan of impatience: "Yes. As old as Grandma. America wasn't a country -- it was a collection of colonies. And Great Britain was in charge of them."
"Like you are in charge of me and my brother?"
"Sort of. Anyway, Great Britain made some rules that America didn't like."
"Like the rule that I can't eat on the carpet?"
"Worse than that. Let Momma finish okay?"
"What's worse than eating on the carpet?"
I am pretty sure that my right eye is now twitching. Ignoring her questions, I continue on:
"Great Britain made some rules that America didn't like. So a lot of men, called the Founding Fathers, got together and they wrote a Declaration of Independence. And it was published on July 4th. And in the Declaration they said they weren't going to let Great Britain be in charge of them anymore -- that they were going to be responsible for themselves. And so July 4th became America's birthday."
"Can I write a 'Claration of 'Dependence from you and Daddy?"
"Just to maybe eat on the carpet?"
Girlie thought that over for a bit and then nodded. "When is Heaven's birthday?"
Boyo pulled his head out of the bowl of cake batter and asked, "Can we make cupcakes for Heaven?"