“Are we what?” I asked Lorrie after half listening to her question. This was the time of day when I’d just met the girls as they got off of the school bus and was driving back to the ranch house.
“Are we real, Mommy? My friend, Pam, said that we all could just be pigments of someone else’s imagination.”
I nearly drove the SUV into the side of the covered bridge and wondered if Lex would be able to pull us all out of that creek. Thank goodness that it wasn’t the rainy season. The tires may get soaked, but we would most likely just end up with–
I swerved back onto the middle of the bridge and silently berated myself for letting my thoughts get away from me.
“Uh, sorry. Lorrie, what did your friend say?”
“Pam said that we could just be the pigments of someone else’s imagination.”
“Figment, Lorrie, pigment is what those freckles on your nose are.”
“Figment. Mom, what about it?”
“What about what?” Okay, I have to admit that Lorrie’s question took me off guard. It’s a question I have asked myself and never really came to a satisfying conclusion.
“Lorrie, do you feel real? When you touch things, can you feel them? Do you taste the food you eat? Do you smell Freckles wet fur when she comes in out of the rain? What do you think?”
“I guess I’m real, then.” She took a moment to think about it further as we came closer to the house. “But what if all those things are what someone imagines we’d feel and taste and smell?”
I brought the Expedition to a stop and turned off the engine. As the girls gathered their things up, I began to think that maybe Lorrie was on to something.
A little while later, Lex joined me in the kitchen as I put the final touches on dinner. I told her about the conversation in the SUV earlier and that I thought Lorrie would make a fine philosopher.
“And rancher. Remember, she wants to run the ranch when she gets old enough.” Lex nabbed a piece of pot roast and popped it in her mouth. Her eyes closed in pleasure as she chewed the succulent meat. “Mmm, yummy!” She reached for another tidbit and I smacked her hand.
“Wait until dinner. Why don’t you go call the girls and have them wash up for dinner, honey?”
Lex grinned at me. “Why don’t we imagine we called them for dinner, but they weren’t hungry and left all this wonderful pot roast for me?”
“You’re incorrigible, Lex.”
“I imagine so.”
“Be nice or you can imagine what happens in the bedroom tonight, all by yourself.”
“LORRIE! MEL! DINNER!”
Then Lex scooped me up in her arms and started nibbling on my neck.
Real. Definitely real.