Nine seems early for an existential crisis

My nine year old daughter appeared next to my bed an hour after she was tucked into her bed.  She looked serious and like she had stuff on her mind.   I don't know for sure how I knew that.  I just did.  This must be what they call "motherly instincts."  So, naturally, I did my best impersonation of a good mother and hit pause on the Real Housewives and told her to lay down next to me and tell me all her troubles.

She was quiet for a few moments and then she looked me in they eye and said she didn't understand the point of living if we're just going to die eventually.


Seriously.   The Real Housewives were still on the television screen on pause as we're having this conversation.  Do you have any idea how surreal it is do discuss the meaning of life with that crap staring at you? But I digress.

My "motherly instincts" told me this existential crisis required some TLC with a focus on the positive.  So we discussed things like having fun, being happy, working hard, helping others, being a good person and taking care of people you love.

I was mentally high fiving myself on making some good points in there and figuring I'm ten seconds away from un-pausing the Real Housewives.  Then she switches things up and starts telling me she feels bad for kids in orphanages and wants to know if they have Christmas presents and do they get to move out on their own when they grow up and who pays for their college. 

Sigh. So much for the Real Housewives.

We discussed orphanages and how they do not eat slop and scrub the floor in the middle of the night like in Annie.  At least not in America.  And it was late so there was really no place for semantics.  Plus, the kid was already having trouble sleeping pondering the issue.  I was looking to improve the situation not stress her out more.

But then we discussed what it's like to be an orphan.  Specific things like how they get to pay for college themselves, examples of how a kid ends up in an orphanage and that they really don't have a Momma. We were in full Debbie Downer territory.  Suddenly I was in danger of my own existential crisis.  

So we started brainstorming things we could maybe do to help some kids.  I'm supposed to be looking up an Angel Tree so we can adopt a couple.  We also agreed she could raid my Toys For Tots stockpile to take to her school's charity toy drive. 

I was thinking we were on the road to bouncing back.  I was thinking the universe needs to stop making my kid worry about why life is hard.

Cut to a few days later and the horrific shooting in an elementary school.  My shock and awe was compounded by trying to figure out how I'll explain it to my deep thinker.  So far, she's not aware of it.  That's mostly because the Disney Channel doesn't cut to reporters live on the scene.  Good call on their part.  But she heads back to school tomorrow and I'm thinking my luck can't possibly last.

I'm thankful my children are safe and healthy.  I wish we lived in a world where horrific stuff doesn't happen to innocent people on a regular basis.  Too bad we don't.  I'm going to need to think of a better way to phrase that for her.

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