Letting Them Play in the River


Once upon a time, there were two children from different families, and their names were Boris and Natasha.  They were happy children and obedient.  They always ate their veggies, went to bed before nine, and never skipped church.

While young, Boris and Natasha loved to play together, which was convenient, since they lived next door.  But as the years went on, they drifted apart, much like two sticks in a limpid stream drift apart.  And though this may seem like a very poor analogy, it isn't, because that is precisely what was happening to Boris and Natasha: they were each floating down separate currents.  They were destined never to be friends again.

You see, despite appearances, their parents had very different standards for them.  Whereas Boris was encouraged to practice reading via Christian comic books (where the sun always shines and the landscapes are made of cotton candy), Natasha was given fairy tales, Greek myths, and biographies. While Boris was corrected for scuffing up his shoes, Natasha was allowed to play in the river.  Boris's parents read bits of the Bible every night, particularly the verses that show up with baskets of puppies, and Natasha's parents read her the Bible all the way through, including the gnarly parts.  Boris got A's in all his high school classes, even though his parents had to try six different schools before they found one that "suited" him, while Natasha got mostly B's, and an occasional A or C, in her honors and AP courses.  And when they were older with families of their own, Boris, generally apathetic about most issues, would always say that his education was worthless, because he'd never really "used" it.  But Natasha was interested in everything.