Actual conversation between 2 of my kids, in line, on the way back from recess.
Fellow teacher steps out of teacher's lounge, Coke in hand.
Little Boy: Oh look, Miss J has a Coke! My family is the kind of family who loves God and stuff, and we read the bible and say prayers and everything, and so we only buy sugar-free Coke.
Little Girl: We love God and go to church, but my mom drinks regular Coke.
At this point, the two trusting, innocent children, look at each other and then at me. "Well?" their looks say, "Who is right?" I told them I had never asked God his opinion on soft drinks, and pretty much left it at that. Zoinks.
Last year, one of the kids in my class had a grandparent die, which lead to the ever-so-touchy-in -a-public-school-setting dialogue about exactly what happens when you die. The kids all tossed around their understandings of what happens: you go to heaven with God, you get to be an angel in the clouds, you go in a hole in the ground forever until the worms eat your guts (keep in mind I had 17 boys and 6 girls last year-- we talked about guts a lot). Then when they had all shared their ideas, they looked at me, perched up on high in my Cracker Barrel rocking chair like the oracle, and wanted the answer. Well? What happens, Mrs. F? Uh... help? I am the final authority in this moment. I told them, simply, that I have never been dead and so I am not exactly sure what happens. Once again, they were pacified (if not disappointed) with this answer.
Where I REALLY may have blown it was about a week ago when one of the little girls in my class came up and gave me a big hug. Keep in mind that their little heads are right at belly height. She looked up and me and said "Why is your belly getting so big Mrs. F?" and I said it. I know I shouldn't have, I knew it as it was coming out of my mouth. I went home and considered putting my teaching certificate in an envelope and mailing it back to the state with my apologies. I shouldn't have said it, and if I could take it back, I would.
"I must have swallowed a watermelon seed!"
That is what I said. I know that was not the right thing to say, but please, someone, tell me what I SHOULD have said. Before the state finds out and I lose my insurance.
I won't even MENTION last year's unpleasantness when I was introducing the concept of "symmetry" and one of the kids wanted to know when we were going to talk about the dead people. I was like what? The other kids echoed him: yeah, when do we talk about the skeletons and stuff? You know, in the symmetry? In the graves at the symmetry? Shit. I actually laughed out loud on that one.