My middle son, age 10, is a budding philosopher. Yes, he ponders, he questions, he tries to make sense of things that just don't make sense. Isn't that the definition of a philosopher?
At the oddest times, he will blurt out a question for me to answer, such as, "Mom, if you had the choice between falling out of an airplane without a parachute or being eaten alive by flesh devouring bugs, which would you choose?" To which I usually say, "This is hypothetical, right?" Because how do you actually make a choice like that, anyway? The depth of his questions knows no bounds. During Mass he will lean over and whisper, "Hey Mom, if you had a choice between......" to which I answer, "shhhh, ask me later, ok?"
The really good questions happen right before we turn the lights out at bedtime. We say our prayers, I tuck him in, give him a hug and kiss and start to leave when I hear, "Mom, if you had a choice between having your arms torn off or your legs, which would you choose?" Ah, never an easy answer with this kid. I do wonder where he gets all these strange questions, what kind of thoughts are running in his mind for this to be what he is most wanting to ask. "Well," I say, "if I didn't have arms I couldn't hug you, so I guess it would have to be the legs. Definitely the legs."
He seems satisfied with that answer, so I leave it at that. Honestly, I hope I never find myself in any of the scenarios he asks me about, unless it was an easy one like whether I would rather be a lion or a tiger, or would I rather be a bullfrog? Oh wait, that's another story.
And just for the record, if I had to choose, I would pick falling out of an airplane without a parachute.
Because the bugs? They are a slow and painful death. Just in case you were wondering, that is.