One of the greatest things about working with the kids all day is the hour before school starts in which I get to talk to them as little people instead of little students. They tell me all about their lives (sometimes alarmingly so) and ask me questions about anything they can think of.
One of my favorite discussions with them in the mornings is the "What have you eaten?" discussion, which usually goes something like this:
"Miss Meg, have you ever eaten brains?"
"Miss Meg, have you ever eaten a squid?"
"Miss Meg, have you ever eaten an alligator?"
A few years back, one of my students started playing little league baseball. One morning, he asked me who the guy was who wore black and white and said, "You're out!"
I told him that was the umpire.
Several days later, I had totally forgotten the conversation and in the midst of fielding 35 other random questions, the kid asked me, "Miss Meg, where do the vampires live?"
This puzzled me, but it was really no different from any of the other weird questions I get asked on a daily basis, so I thought about it for a minute and said, "Well, maybe they live underground."
The kid stared at me for a moment. "Underground?" he asked.
"The vampires live underground?"
"Well, you know, honey, it's dark down there. And the vampires don't like light."
His eyes got wider. "The vampires don't like light?"
"Well, the light kills them."
His eyes got huge. "The light kills them?"
All of a sudden it dawned on me that he thought we were talking about umpires. UMPIRES!
"Miss Meg is so silly," I said, "Don't listen to what she says. The umpires live at home, just like you and me."
He went back to his desk, still looking vaguely alarmed and I wonder if to this day he looks at the umpires askance.