On an unusually warm day this past May, I had to pick up our seven year old grandson, Lucas, from school. This takes a bit of orchestrating because, on any given day, there are three or more other kids that have to accompany me on this excursion. This day it was 22 month old, Xavier, aka ‘Zabor’, two point five year old Amelia and Lucas’ four year old sister, Evelyn. It was hot in the car. Evelyn decided to take off her shirt. Lucas, exasperated with his little sister’s disrobing, shouted in alarm, “Evelyn, you can’t do that in real life!”
What constitutes real life anyway? Certainly not fake news, boobs, noses, nails, lashes nor the way we often use social media to embellish our otherwise ordinary lives and mask our imperfections. Maybe real life is our beat up, worn out, naked selves with all our vulnerability loved, like the Velveteen Rabbit, in a way that makes us real. After all, the great spiritual traditions say God loves us just the way we are (and so does Billy Joel). In any case, Evelyn retorted to her brother with gusto, “Lucas, you’re not the boss of me! I can do whatever I want.” And she can. She’s a red head. No one in his right mind should mess with a red head… in real life.