This morning she woke up quite concerned about volcanoes, and we had the following conversation:
RR: Mommy, are there any volcanoes in Israel? I really don't like lava.
Mommy: As far as I know, there are none, though the Fertile Crescent sits on a major fault-line.
Mommy: Never mind.
RR: Mommy, does anyone in our family live near an active volcano?
Mommy: No, the active volcanoes are in South America, not North America.
RR: But Mommy, what about my Bat Mitzvah trip?
[We have already decided that for her 12th birthday we will be going on a real safari in Africa. I have already started saving up for this trip. Any leftover money will go toward driving lessons.]
RR: Don't they have active volcanoes in Africa?
Mommy: Yes they do, but I promise you I will not take you to any place that is unsafe. That being said, do not try to pet the lions when we are on safari.
RR: Perhaps we should have my Bat Mitzvah somewhere safe, like in America.
Mommy: [looking her straight in the eyes] I will always protect you, because I am your Mommy, wherever we are in the world.
RR: Even when we go to visit Mars and Jupiter?
Mommy: Yes, even in outer space, I will protect you and keep you safe. That is my job.
Later today, we went to the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens, for the last day of the gallery showing of Raphaela's photograph, followed by the Dinosaur Tour. I must admit, these life-size moving and growling dinosaur robots felt so real that even I was a bit frightened. When we got to the T-Rex, Raphaela hit behind me and said, "Mommy, I know these are just robots, but now is the time you need to protect me. It's your job!""