It's 10pm and I'm doing my last rounds, shutting windows, turning off lights, locking doors. I go upstairs to check on all the children. The twins are sleeping peacefully, Jasiel is snoring softly. Jewel is fast asleep, her covers flung wildly off the bed.
But the boys are awake. They are huddled together in Jude's bed. From the hallway, I can hear James talking,
"Jude," he says, "that doesn't happen in America."
"Boys! It's 10 o'clock! Why are you awake?"
I kneel beside the bed. James props himself up on one arm,
"It's Jude," he states, matter-of-factly, "he's afraid of diseases."
"Yeah, diseases," James says.
From beneath his precious blankie, Jude nods emphatically.
"What disease?" I ask. I'm thinking chicken pox, fevers, diarrhea.
"Elephantitis," Jude says.
I can't help it, I burst into laughter. "What in the world?"
Come to find out, James has been reading a book to Jude about microscopic organisms, including the parasite that causes elephantitis. It's a terrible disease, truly. But what James had neglected to tell Jude was that this disease occurs mostly in Africa.
"Jude," I say, "you can go to sleep now. Elephantitis doesn't happen in America."
"You mean, not in our America?"
Honestly, I don't know if this is true or not. But it's 10pm and my boys need to sleep.
"Right. Not in our America. Now go to sleep."
"Mommy, are we safe?" Jude asks.
Ah, precious boy. I kiss his little round head. I caress his pudgy cheeks. Yes, my son, you are safe.
Which is precisely why I'm voting John McCain. To keep it that way.
[And all along you thought this was a non-political post! GOTCHA! LOL! ]