I went Up North with my mom and Victoria while Violet was away at camp. A lovely, three-generation girls weekend.
We rode on an Alpine Slide, which is like a sled you ride down a track, usually on an unused section of a ski hill. You take a chair lift to the top, then slide down.
Note: this is not me or my child
So we’re waiting in line at the chair lift and a talkative six-year-old starts chatting us up. Victoria takes this in stride, nodding and giving him lots of “mmmm”s and “oh”s, which takes the pressure off me. Twelve years into parenting and I still get confused when children I don’t know start talking to me. Have you never heard of Stranger Danger, Chatty Kathy? Shall I tell you about it now?
ANYway . . .
The boy can’t get over the fact that empty chairs keep going up the mountain. “The chairs just keep going up, but there’s no one in them. I just don’t understand it.”
“mmmmm,” says Victoria.
“I just don’t understand it. Why isn’t there anyone in them? I just don’t understand it. I just don’t understand it. I Don’t. Under. Stand.”
Victoria is silent for some time. She then turns to him and says:
“It’s just like the meaning of life. No one knows what it is.”
They both watch the chair lifts silently from then on, until it’s our turn to go up the mountain.