A couple days ago, I was talking to Adelaide, relating to her the following story:
"So the other day I was on the front porch when I saw a lady and her dog walk by, and I thought what if, just what if I were an alien sent to earth on some kind of reconnaissance mission about the feasibility of invading this planet, and my first view of Earth's lifeforms was this lady walking her dog, but I'm an alien and I have no context for what this thing might be, so I think that what we know is the lady is the adult form of this planet's inhabitants, and what we know is the leash and the dog the alien instead assumes is some sort of umbilicus connecting the mother organism to her four-legged offspring, like, the dog is the larval or maybe pupal form of Earth's inhabitants, and the alien is so freaked out by this craziness that it reports back to its superiors that invasion is not recommended."
Now, for the past, oh, say five or six years, this would have been the springboard for a fun if not slightly wacky conversation between my daughter and I, but on this particular day, the only response I got was, "Mommy. Why are you thinking about these things?" Granted, she said it with a smile on her face, but still.
At first, I was deeply disappointed by this, thinking our daughter had somehow outgrown her own imagination or that public schooling had sucked all the creativity out of her or that she was beginning to consider herself too cool not just for school but also conversations about aliens.
After only a few minutes following this sad train of thought, however, I was able to remind myself of all the seriously weird things I see her saying and making and not-so-surreptitiously doing on a near-daily basis, and I cheered right up. Plus, I need her to have inherited a decent amount of her father's common sense, as she will most likely be the person in charge of my care should I ever reach an advanced age.
Then I felt better.