"Can we go down to the ocean, Mommy?"
What, right now? Is she not enjoying our cottage weekend? Does she mean on a subsequent vacation? I grapple with subtext, while Helena lifts her arm, points through the trees. Ah.
"You mean the lake..."
"What's the difference between ocean and lake?"
I stumble over some distinguishing characteristics: size, location, flora and fauna. I listen to myself ramble about saltwater and freshwater, and realize interestedly that to me, for some reason, this is the feature that demarcates the difference. I don't think Helena is paying attention anymore...
"Once when I was crying really, really hard my tears fell into my mouth and it was salty but it tasted good so I licked them up. Is that like the ocean?"
[Last weekend we went to the cottage. We leave tomorrow morning for a repeat performance.]