November 1, 2012


“Do you have a tissue?” Lilah asks from the stroller as we walk from the elementary school to the preschool.

“I’m sorry, I don’t,” I reply. “Here.” I wipe her nose on my mitten, as we parents do sometimes.

“You know, you should carry a little tissue.”

“Yes, I know. I’m an imperfect mother.” Especially this morning, I think to myself.

She contemplates that for a moment, then asks, “What does ‘im-‘ mean?”

“It means ‘not.’ Like, ‘imperfect’ means ‘not perfect.’ And ‘impossible’ means ‘not possible.’ And ‘imbalanced’ means ‘not balanced.’”

Again, she contemplates, then replies, “Oh. I’m imbalanced.”

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  • Reply De A November 1, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    And now I want to sit and think of more im- words. It sounds much gentler than “not,” I think. Impermanent.

    • Reply emily November 1, 2012 at 2:28 pm

      I thought of that one, but then I didn’t want to have to define “permanent.”

  • Reply Lauren November 1, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    I think my children would best understand “impatient!”

  • Reply Em November 2, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    “Improper” and “impotent” where what came to mind, followed by “immaculate” and “immediate”. Somehow, defining “proper, potent, maculate and mediate” alongside their relative counterparts does not sound like an easy task.

    • Reply emily November 2, 2012 at 2:14 pm

      You see why I avoided those!

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