We were driving to soccer today and saw a mail carrier out and about. Kailey said to me, "do you need math if you are a mail carrier?" I said, "well, probably some. You need math in every job, to some degree." And then Kai said, "why do we have to learn so much math in school that we are never going to need when we get older?" I asked her what she thought about the answer to that question and she thought for a bit and then said, "OH! I know!! Because I'm only 8 and I might THINK that I want to be a mail carrier now... which I don't, but if I did... I want to be a teacher. But, IF I wanted to be a mail carrier I might THINK that but then, I don't know if that's what I'll actually be. I could change my mind when I'm an adult and want to be a doctor. But if I hadn't learned the math when I was a kid, I couldn't be a doctor."
I smiled and agreed. Then we talked about other reasons that it might be good to learn math -- such as the joy of learning and the fact that we use math in other aspects of our lives, too. Not just for our jobs.
Then, tonight, I was letting the kids watch Annie. Kailey was asking bunches of questions about the movie and trying to figure out how Annie had ended up in the orphanage and if the person who worked at the orphanage when Annie was a baby was as mean as the person that was working there now. I said I wasn't sure who was working there when she was a baby, and Kailey replied that she would assume it wasn't the same person because why would someone leave a baby with such a mean person. Good point. But, then she said, "but, I feel sorry for orphanage workers. Because, it must be hard to take care of that many kids. They're so loud. I bet she never gets any sleep."
I had to work not to burst out laughing. Instead, I just replied, "you are so insightful -- and also empathetic. I think most people wouldn't feel any sympathy for her because she's the "bad guy" in the movie. But, you're figuring out what it must be like to be her. That's a good thing to think about."
I love how insightful and thoughtful she is -- even though the constant stream of questions can wear a person down. Guess it's good I don't work in an orphanage.