Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Yeah, It's a Natural Reaction

I stopped at the mailboxes after picking the girls up from school Friday where Kailey proceeded with the mail-gathering honors of the day. When I think about it, it's amazing how many daily rituals we have, most of them bizarre. This is just another in a long list: the mail pick-up. I pull up to the mailbox; the girls bicker over whose turn it is to get the mail; the winner exits the car (usually with a smirk at the loser); I roll down my window, turn off the car, and hand the winner the keys; the winner opens the mailbox, collects the mail and hands it to me along with the keys, then bolts like a bat out of hell for the house; I start the car, throw it into drive, and gun it for home, usually passing the giggling runner, but sometimes allowing them to win (which isn't often 'cause I hate to lose) just to keep things interesting; then we all collect our stuff and tumble into the house, usually in a cloud of trash-talk ("you run like a girl"); then it's on to the afternoon ritual of play, homework, and extra-curricular activities. We'll probably continue the mail routine until either a.) the girls outgrow it, or b.) I run one of them down with the car.

As I said earlier, Kailey was the "winner", and after she handed me the mail, I handed it to Kyra because she likes to sort it. In truth, she just wants to see if any of it's for her. She immediately found a letter with her name on it along with mine. "Why is your name on my mail?" she accused as she thrust envelope back at me. I grabbed it as I glanced at Kailey who was leaving us in a trail of dust. I guess this would be a day where she'd be the winner. Damn.

I looked at the envelope and saw that it was from one of our investment management companies. "Oh, these must be our tax statements," I explained.

"What are tax statements?"

Oh boy, here we go. "Well...they're for taxes. Taxes are money that everyone has to give to the government so that the government can misuse it as they see fit (I figured she wasn't going to fully comprehend everything I was trying to explain, so I might as well give it to her straight). Whenever Mommy and I get paid for our work, some of that money goes to the government. Anytime we make money, we have to give some of it to the government."

A look of horror dissolved on Kyra's face as her eyes welled up and her bottom lip curled into full pout mode. "BUT I DON'T WANT TO GIVE MY MONEY TO THE GOVERNMENT!" she bawled. "I...I...I ONLY HAVE THIRTY-SEVEN DOLLARS!"

Welcome to my world, kiddo.

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