She sat on the couch with one leg on her thigh making a four out of her lower limbs. She kept putting her fingers between her toes and smushing one over the other while she talked (helps her think?). She has long blond hair, chubby cheeks, and a mouth that likes to move. At 10, she’s filled with questions and has much to say.
“You’re how old?” she asked her great-grandmother (G.G.).
“Wow,” she said. “Doesn’t that mean you’ll be dead soon?”
We all looked at her: her mom (my niece), me, and the young-at-heart still-happily-breathing G.G.
“Later rather than sooner,” her mother said.
“Uh, yeah, that’s what I meant.”
She decided then it was a good time to look around the room and play her own internal game of I Spy.
“Who are these people?” she asked while pointing at my brothers and me in our graduation finest hanging on the wall, one above the other.
“I don’t know,” I said. “They came with the frames.”
She turned to my mother. “G.G., why would you leave photos of people you don’t know in the frames?” She looked at them again.
“Wait, that one is YOU,” she snarked, pointing at me at 18. She turned and looked at me, looked again at the photo then at me again.
“You look exactly the same.”
And I didn’t even pay her!
Something else shiny flew through her brain and she blurted, “Did you know that this Wednesday is SPY Wednesday?”
Three sets of furrowed brows looked at each other and then at her like she was crazy.
“I’ve never heard of that,” her mother said.
“Me either,” I said.
“It’s true,” she said, and then told us all about Judas and how he betrayed Jesus for some silver coins, etc. She knows everything almost down to the types of sandals the apostles were wearing thanks to her Catholic schooling.
“What, was Jesus in the CIA?” her mother asked. I chuckled.
As two skeptic heretics having never heard it called that, we decided to google it. Turns out, according to Wikipedia, it can be called that. But in 12 years of Catholic education, her mother and I had never heard that phrase used. Maybe it was a newer addition, jazzing up a really old story to compete with today’s 18 incarnations of Law & Order and CSI.
I decided then to google Judas, just for fun (you know how once you start googling and wikipedia-ing things, and all of a sudden, three hours have passed…).
“J-u-d-a-s… I-s-c-a-r-i-o-t” I typed while my great-niece watched.
“Wait, how do you know his last name?” she asked.
“Because G.G. knew him.”
“REALLY?” she asked, her light cornflower blue eyes wide. Then she smirked. “She did NOT.”
Oh, no. She’s on to me!