Charlie stands next to me where I sit at my desk quickly looking at a few more posts on the Face book news feed before I hand the computer over to him; a Mine Craft session awaits.
Charlie: The red box with the equal sign is on everybody’s face book pictures. Does that stand for Gay Equality?
Cassie: Yes. People everywhere are supporting the idea that anyone can love and marry whomever they want, that it should NEVER be considered illegal for any two people to marry.
Charlie: And get health insurance as a couple.
Cassie: Yes! How did you know that? About the health insurance component of it?
Cassie: “NPR.” You sound like your father.
Charlie: Who do you think forces me to listen to NPR every day of my life?!
Cassie: When he’s dropping you off at school?
Charlie: Yes. (Pause) It’s either that or REM. But when he’s getting all prepped for work, he likes his NPR.
Cassie: Which is worse? NPR or REM?
Charlie: REM, I guess. With NPR, sometimes I actually learn something. The REM guy just sounds like he’s moaning a lot.
Cassie: Don’t tell Daddy that. He LOVES his REM, or he used to.
Charlie: REM’s for old people.
Charlie: Young people who are trying to be cool like rap music. Max likes rap music.
Cassie: Do you like rap?
Charlie: I’m not sure. Maybe. I like Lenny Kravitz. I like the Beatles and sometimes I like Billy Joel because he sings stories that are interesting. I like to hear the story in a song, or if it has a really good beat.
Cassie: But not Taylor Swift, right?
Charlie: Right! That’s too girly.
Cassie: And you don’t like my Mumford and Sons?
Charlie: The guitar is frantic. And I don’t like banjo. Sounds too country.
Cassie: Now you sound like Max. That’s exactly his complaint about Mumford.
Charlie: Hmmm. I’d probably like rap if Max would ever let me listen to it with him, but there are way too many bad words, he says. Like I haven’t heard bad words before…in this family.
Cassie (chuckling): True. You think Max is cool?
Charlie: Not really. No one ever thinks their own brother or sister is cool.
Cassie: MY brothers are cool.
Charlie: But you didn’t think that when you were a kid. Right?
Cassie: Ummm….yep….actually, I did. Jay was pretty much cool since he was a little kid.
Charlie: How come?
Cassie: Because he had a certain happy frenzy about life and he was VERY funny. He laughed and made other people laugh A LOT! Ever since he was little he was like that, which is kind of like you, now that I think about it.
Charlie: Why is Uncle Roger cool?
Cassie: He can build and fix ANYTHING! This, to me, is VERY cool. He knows a lot of things about everything and he has a lot of facts stored in his brain. He knows how to survive in life. Also, he’s very handsome.
Charlie: Hmmm. Uncle Roger is so big and muscular that he can practically pick me up with his finger.
Cassie: I know.
Charlie: I would definitely become cooler if I listened to rap. Will you let me listen to rap?
Charlie: But not yet?
Cassie: No. I think your musical choices for now are awesome. Besides, if you need to, you can always just listen to NPR.
(Huge eye roll from Charlie, but also there’s the Bollinger Boy smirk and a soft chuckle.)