At the time I made this drawing, my son was five. Five is way more interesting than four, but then again I thought four blew three out of the water, so perhaps there is a love bias in there somewhere; I just find my kids more and more engaging the longer I know them.
At age five, he questions everything, but is still able to completely suspend disbelief. Father Christmas is real and Mr. Fox, his favourite bed friend did really take a holiday to Lord Howe Island to do conservation work with the endangered stick insects. There is no way that dinosaurs could still be alive today because (der!) megafauna are extinct and that is why they are in the fossil record. Clouds aren't really puffy and soft, they are wet and cold because they are made of water. Our chickens do lay chocolate eggs at Easter, however.
A current obsession is Star Wars and many of the regular questions about life and the world, which pepper our days, get filtered through the lens of "but could a Wookie do it?" and "what if they had Jedi powers?"
On this particular day, we were playing with some newish Lego - the Moon of Endor forest set, which incudes a couple of Storm Troopers, some Rebel Fighters and a forest speeder.
The Storm Troopers (or Trippers as they were mistakenly called for a while) had just sat down for a lovely picnic in the forest with the Rebel Fighters, when the question came: "Mum, do you thing dentists are on the Light Side?"
I have a cool and pragmatic relationship with dentists. When I was a child, most of my baby teeth had to be pulled by the dentist because, as he put it, they had roots like Redwoods. I endured many many needles and significant time spent staring at the ceiling counting in my head while the worst of it - the grinding, crunching noises - reverberated in my skull. I didn't hate the dentist, but I feared him.
An aspect of my character, a deeply embeded trait, is my ability to endure pain. I don't say this to boast. I am not an especially brave person, but I have developed a kind of neutral, resigned relationship to certain kinds of pain - the unavoidable ones.
I birthed both of my children without any medication. When I broke my arm horseriding I fixedly nursed it over the bumps and jostles during the hour and a half-long trip to the hospital without any whimpering.
When I have to get an injection or have blood taken I say to my son "Look! How interesting...can you see the vein there? The needle goes in just a little way. See? There's the blood. Isn't it dark?"
As a result my son has no fear of needles, or the dentist for that matter.
Our new family dentist, Chris, is divine. His hands are so gentle and he softly tells his patients exactly what he is about to do in the way that a fairy might say "In a moment I'm going to tap you on the head with my wand and grant you three wishes". We love Chris the dentist. So, when Rufus asks if there are dentists on the light side, it isn't because he has a pre-conceived notion that they might be evil. It isn't a loaded question, just curious and practical.
"Well.." I respond. "I guess they must be. Mark Hammil has such good teeth"