Recital Envy

An essay I wrote for Modern Loss about attending my daughters’ performances without my late parents:


“Chandelier” video, interpreted by my 7 & 8 year old daughters

My daughters (7&8) heard me singing Sia’s “Chandelier” as I was making their after-school snack. My 7-year-old quickly said: “I didn’t know that even YOU knew that song!”

Together, we watched the video for the first time…their comments:

  1. “Is she wearing anything?”
  2. “Is that her house?”
  3. “It’s so weird.”
  4. “What the ?”
  5. “Did she dye her hair white? It doesn’t look like a wig.”
  6. “She should’ve worn a pink leotard.”
  7. “How come she’s as tall as the fridge?”
  8. “She can do a good split!”
  9. “I can see her butt.”
  10. “She almost looks naked.”
  11. “If that’s her house, it’s really big!”
  12. “It’s really weird.”
  13. “Can we watch it again?”

Questions my two daughters, 7 and 8, asked in the first 7 minutes home from elementary school.

After-school conversations are never dull in my house, between “Mom, I’m starving” to “you forgot to pack my water bottle.” My daughters (7 and 8) also tell me who they ate lunch with or what they did during recess, or if something earth shattering happened like an assembly or a visit from the fire department.

They also bombard me with questions.

Recently, I fielded the following inquiries from my daughters seconds after they walked through the door, between 3:27-3:34 p.m.:


  1. Is Santa really Jesus?
  2. Why is Jesus Jewish?
  3. Why do I eat candy?
  4. Is Jesus the Easter Bunny?
  5. How come the Easter Bunny lays eggs?
  6. How come trees are connected to Christmas?
  7. Why do we get presents on Christmas when it’s Jesus’ birthday? Because he likes to share?
  8. Why do we celebrate the day Jesus dies?

Everyday Concerns

  1. Why is there wood in the back yard?
  2. Why do we have allergies?
  3. Why did Daddy by an ax?
  4. Why do clocks tick?
  5. Why do clocks make sounds?

A Brief Digression …

14. Who knew where continents started and ended before they were continents?

15. Why is that pen pink?

16. When do you learn cursive?

Elves vs. humans

17. Why do elves have pointed ears?

18. Why do we have round ears?

PM vs. AM.

19. Does PM stand for post-meridian?

20. Does AM stand for anti-meridian?


21. Why are trolls so dumb?

22. Why does everyone go “blah, blah, blah?”

23. Why don’t trolls live?

24. Why do trolls just grunt and point?

25? Why do trolls have pointed ears and are fat?

Miscellaneous Food, from Book to Table

26.Why don’t peas love candy in that book like we do?

27. Why do I get so hungry?

Literacy and Authorship

28. Why doesn’t paper have little lines?

29. Why is Mommy writing?

30. Why don’t I get to write?

31. Why don’t I get to write?

32. Why do moms always do the writing?

School, Boys, Recess

33. Why is school so boring?

34. Why don’t I like boys?

35. Why does everyone like recess?

36. Why don’t I like recess?

Eating Habits

37. Why do I hate chicken and other kinds of meat?

38. Why doesn’t my sister like chicken or meat?

39. Why does my sister have fruit on her shirt?

Only 5 hours until bedtime. At this rate, I can expect 1,170 questions.


Well, I think I’ve answered enough questions for today.