C is for…


My 2015 A to Z Challenge Theme is Quotes & Lines from Literature. Each day I will be posting a favorite quote or a few lines from well known short stories, poems or novels, with the letter of the first name as the A to Z. I’ll have a short write up with each quote, but each quote can also serve as a writing prompt for readers or myself.  I may write a poem or flash fiction based on that quote, or just throw it out there as inspiration. Hopefully you’ll join me in this adventure! I’ll try to include some of my favorite blog finds as I move through the challenge as well.


Today’s  quote is from Carl Sagan and is another I found it in 365 Days of Wonder, by R.J. Palacio.  

There are so many ways you could go with this quote. The focus could be on an attempt to make the world significant. Or the focus could be on the questions, the person(s) asking the questions, the type of answers, or how to find the answers. I love the layers of this one.  

I decided to do a very rough draft flash fiction for today’s quote/writing prompt. Since I am a parent of young children, I drifted that direction, but I think I will have to hang onto this quote for where else it may lead later. 

Thanks for stopping by. πŸ˜€



“I almost fell into the birds and bees talk with Finn tonight” my husband said as he came to bed. 

“Uh oh, what movie did you end up taking him to that brought that up?” I teased, though some of those superhero movies were more adult than we intended for our ten year old son. 

“It wasn’t the movie, you know Finn is still repulsed by the sight of kissing, anything close to kissing has him covering his eyes more than any explosion or fight scene.” 

“And what does that say about our world?” I asked, but couldn’t hold back a smile. 

“Nothing. He’s a boy. You know Kayla isn’t scared by that. You’ll probably have to have the Talk with her before I have to talk to Finn.”  he said as he climbed in bed.

“Kayla is six and she thinks every boy in class is cute and chases them at recess so WE will definitely keep an open conversation with her, but WE don’t want to wait too long before we talk to Finn seriously. It shouldn’t just be me talking to her and you to him. Though, I will talk to her about some of the details.”

The look of horror on his face at the very idea made me want to laugh but I was trying my best to resist. 

“Answering all those questions scares you a bit doesn’t it?” I asked.

“Not scared really” he said and set the book down he had picked up. He turned to face me in the bed, in full serious mode. 

I won’t lie, it freaked me out a little how serious he had suddenly gotten. 

“Birds and bees will be more embarrassing than scary,” he said, then reached over to take my hand. He stared at the skin on my hand and traced his fingers across my knuckles almost absentmindedly. 

“Oh really?” I said and scooted over a little closer to him in the bed. 

“Really. It’s the bigger questions that they will ask before we know it that scare me,” he said.

I waited for him to go on, I could tell he was lost in thought. 

Finally he said, “I am scared I won’t know how to answer those questions that will be coming as these guys get a little older.” 

“Like?” I asked and gently touched his face, he had grown too serious. 

He looked at me, and gave a small smile. 

“You know those questions like when someone they know dies or something else bad happens and they want to know why. Or when they get their hearts broken for the first time and ask why that person didn’t love them back.”

I nodded, those questions would be hard. 

“But also those questions like ‘Who am I’ and ‘Why are we here?'” He said.

“To be fair, they will probably be in high school or college or in a band by then and will be far too cool and far too smart to come to either one of us for those questions.” I said and got a good solid belly laugh from him in return. 

I kissed him lightly and then said, “Seriously, hon, I know it scares me a bit too thinking about all the questions they may ask and what answers we should give, but as long as they know they can ask us those questions, any questions, and we do our best to answer them, we should be doing all right by them.”

“You’re probably right”, he said, “still I know I will get stumped sometimes. You are always so much better at that. I’ve heard you talk to Finn about stuff before. You seem to know just what to say.”

“I do the best I can, but struggle too.” I admitted. “They surprise me sometimes with the things they say and some of what they think of to ask me.”

“Yeah, they are both so much like you, so smart and so caring.” He said and then kissed away my attempt to deflect the compliment. 

As he leaned over to turn off the lights, our six year old, Kayla, came running into the room. 

“Dad, I heard thunder, I know I heard thunder. Can I sleep with you guys tonight?”

We knew it was supposed to be storming all night, so told her okay and she climbed up in bed with us. 

As she snuggled up under the covers, he whispered to me, “Well at least there are some questions we know we can manage to answer.” 

Then he kissed us both goodnight. 

18 thoughts on “C is for…

  1. Love both the quote and the story. It’s such a sweet one. With four boys I have run the gamut of questions, even with the two older ones being in their teens. They still ask me some pretty hard questions. As your story implies, as long as you keep the lines of communication open and show your kids that they can trust you to listen to them and help, then you’re doing the best any parent can. Great job CJ. Oh, and today’s NaPoWriMo nearly had me stumped. πŸ˜‰

    1. I had a whole different story going in a much darker direction. I left it to develop more later. It’s hard publishing short fic. I may try to push myself though and do a 99 word one like AJ at some point.

      Oh really? I will have to go back by your blog, when I went earlier today’s wasn’t up yet. Looking forward to itπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒ

      1. Can’t wait to read the darker version. Yes, I was late posting this morning. I had some trouble. πŸ˜‰
        You should go by AJ’s too. 😁

  2. Hi there, I’m on the a-z challenge as well. Great read. I wrote a humorous and honest post about my approach to teaching kids the proper terms for their genitalia a little while back.

    Also in my children’s school and across all of Ontario, Canada, there will be a new sex ed curriculum. It’s quite controversial. Many religious groups are going nuts (they discuss same-sex relationships in older grades).

    Happy a-z πŸ™‚

  3. Excellent drew me in immediately and left me wanting more, the dialogue interupted by a little one. We all have conversations that are not complete and leave us wondering what if πŸ™‚

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