Tough Questions from Tiller

Tough questions this morning from Tiller.

Tiller: Mom, where did Quint come from?
Me [distractedly, and before coffee]: The pound.
I realize what’s coming.
Tiller: What’s the pound?
Me: It’s a place where the government puts dogs and cats who live on the street, so they won’t starve and they won’t bite anyone. Then, people can come look at them and adopt them. [should have stopped there.] If they don’t adopt them, they put them to sleep.
Tiller stares at me.
Me: Do you know what that means? To put them to sleep?
Tiller: [still staring, but now slowly shaking her head no]
Me: Well, they give them a shot that puts them to sleep forever. They go to heaven.
Tiller: [looking sad for a moment, then gets an idea] But we saved Quint! And he’s the best one!
Me: Yes, Tiller. Yes, he is. I wish we could save all of them.
Tiller: But we can’t.
Me: No, baby, we can’t.

And then, while i was watching the news and CNN was covering Immigration.

[The TV is showing footage of people trying to make it over the border, and police dogs, and officers with guns.]

Tiller: What are those people doing?
Me: Well, they live in a country that is having a lot of violence problems, and it is right next door to the U.S. and they want to come to the U.S. to make their lives better.
Tiller: So they come here?
Me: Yes.
Tiller: What’s that fence for?
[Wow. Good question.]
Me: [Sigh] Well, when they come over, they are supposed to get permission first, but because they are desperate to help their families, some people just come over without permission.
Tiller: What’s desperate mean?
Me: It means they are poor and can’t feed their families and they are probably scared of the violence. So, when they come over without permission, it can cause a lot of problems for the hospitals and schools because they get overcrowded and don’t have enough money to pay for everything, so some folks in our country get mad about it, and so they put up a fence to try and keep them out.
Tiller looks at me kind of scared.
Me: They aren’t bad people. They are just trying to help their families. There’s nothing to be scared of, but it is a very complex subject. That was a very good question, Tiller.
[she sits in thought, then looks up quickly at me]
Tiller: Can we watch Dora, now?

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