Kristin Van Tassel “My Son Asks”
I live with my husband and two sons on a small farm in central Kansas. My sons have grown up walking with me—either behind our house, in our “woods” (forty acres of an overgrown pasture, mostly hedge and locust trees, with a few oaks), or along the dirt road (an east-west-running road which is part of the larger square-mile Jeffersonian grid that characterizes Kansas). When my older son became a teenager, he no longer wanted to walk along the road where his classmates might see him (leisure walking in rural Kansas is unusual, and this habit makes our family strange). I found that when it was just my younger son walking with me, he talked more. He not only offered observations about what he saw—the strange shape of a hedge apple at his feet, for example, or the type of clouds above—but he also solicited my opinion on things. “My Son Asks” is about one of those walks.