Let me be upfront about this: I am not — I repeat NOT — a fan of the genre of writing/commentary that highlights the “cute” things children say as an underhanded way of making fun of their understanding of the world. I don’t know about you, but I was always terribly insulted as a child when I said something I thought was astute and grown-ups laughed at me (I’d argue that affectionate laughter was worse than mean laughter — it meant they weren’t taking you seriously. Which, as a kid, sucks.)

So I’m sharing this in the spirit in which the original poster, Molly @ first the egg seems to have written it: damn respect for a child who can ask us to re-evaluate our understanding of the world so profoundly by asking a few simple and completely logical questions.

During the last week of 2009 and the first of 2010, our son Noah asked the following questions:

* What are some people real and some people not real?
* Why do characters do real things? (Contests are real—why is Harry Potter in a contest and he’s not real?)
* What is dying?
* Why do some people kill people?
* Where do people die?
* Where are we going to die?
* When am I going to die?
* Why are some people bad?
* Why are some people mean?
* Why do people mess up?
* Why do some people eat meat? (Why do some people eat animals? Why did someone give us a meat cookbook [i.e., a cookbook that’s not totally vegetarian]? Why do some animals eat other animals? Why are some animals mean? Etc.)
* Why are water bottles all different?
* Why are dirigibles bigger than people?

Go read the whole thing over at first the egg.