Morbid Children

I blame my wife. is a morbid woman. She loves books like The Grapes of Wrath and The Jungle as well as the more mild Laura Ingals Wilder series because they show the “gritty reality” of life. No easy breaks here. Only starvation, hard work, child labor, and nine months of winter. So, it is no surprise that our four-year-old is obsessed with death. My mother-in-law died shortly before she was born and, to honor her, we gave Violet her grandmother’s name: Duyen (vietnamese for “grace”). Maybe my inlaws were right. Maybe it was a bad omen. Besides singing hobo songs that she picked up from O brother Where Art Thou, she is prone to ask us hard-to-answer questions like this gem we got the other day: How many ways can you die? What do you tell a four year old when they ask you that? “Uh… There are lots of ways.” Of course, that is never gonna be good enough. “Like what?” All this to say that when Julie Leung thinks her children have lost their innocence because they learned that people kill each other?!? Just wait! Maybe they’ll be little mini-goths like our daughter.

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