First day of school.
Four Truths and a Lie.
Surely, this one was a lie:
"I have six sisters and two brothers. I'm the baby and I'm 13. My oldest sibling is my sister who is 32. My mom is 47. My sister who is 29 has four sets of twins and she's pregnant again now, but this time with just one baby, and she's due in September."
It was not. I know this wasn't a lie because as she talked I started making some connections and realized that one of her sisters was a high school classmate of mine fourteen years ago and one of her other sisters was a student of mine four years ago.
This then prompted other students to pipe in and discuss their link to this commonality:
Student B: I have five brothers and sisters.
Student C: I'm the second-to-last of eight!
Student D: I have four sisters and a two brothers!
Student A: (the one with Nonomom Sister): DANG, we got a lotta brothers and sisters up in this classroom!
The spin-off conversations were even more interesting:
Student B: Do y'all all have the same daddy?
Student A: We do. All nine of us. My mom and dad got married when she was 16 and he was 18 and they're still together now. But my sister– each of her sets of twins has a different father and the baby on the way now has a different father.
Student C: DANG! I know she collectin' that CHILD SUPPORT, though!
Student B: My two younger brothers and my 16-year old sister are still at home, but my older brother and sister are 22 and 21 years old and they've moved out. There are six of us and we have three different fathers, but we all always lived together.
Student D: Well y'all are better than us, because the seven of us have four different fathers and I only live with three of my brothers and sisters.
Student B: My mom was actually going to have another baby last year, but it died a couple of months before it was supposed to be born. He was a boy and my mom…she kinda has a sadness now.
Student C: Yeah, my mom had two or three miscarriages, too.
Not that I didn't already know this before, but it's everywhere, this rattling juxtaposition of life and loss.