"Dad, I have a question?"
The blue-eyed boy peers over his book at me and I wait. The first query is, I have found, rhetorical.
"What's 'grace' mean?"
"You know what grace means, Nick," I tell him.
"Well, it's not the prayer we say before dinner, I know that, and it doesn't mean like, you know, not falling down off a balance thing. It's the other one, you know...?"
I do know.
"What does the sentence say?" I ask him.
Without looking down he says, "Something about 'the traveler was full of grace' or something like that."
"Yes, like God's Grace, maybe?" is what comes out of my mouth.
"He is the good-guy. So it means, like, God loves this guy? Or, really, the gods because there are, like, gods of fire and wind and, you know, mythical things," he says.
"Yes, and they are mice if I am not mistaken," I say.
"Yes, Mistmantle books are mice. So, how can you be 'full of grace' like it says here?"
I can only think of one answer, "God's love for you is more than you could ever deserve, or earn, or... not because you don't want to, but, well it's sort of difficult to explain. But if you are full of that kind of love, if you know you are beloved, more than you can know, by God, well, that makes you feel happy and proud and good. You understand?"
"So, 'full of grace' is a good thing, right?"
"Yes, I think so," I say. "I'm glad you asked about it."
"Yep, sometimes ya just gotta ask for help." And he buried his freckled face back into Mistmantle and the grace-filled, Mousegod traveler.