So, Julia continues her Gallop Time, thinking about the imaginary Mintz family, despite her ankle still hurting. Of especial importance during Gallop Time yesterday was the "fact" that the swim team that the Mintz kids are part of were swimming against our upcoming evening's opponent. In real life, our town's team lost the meet, but since Lilly Mintz is reportedly such a phenomenal swimmer, I hoped that maybe her team had fared better.
ME: Did Lilly Mintz's team win the swim meet last night?
JULIA: She's on OUR team.
ME: Oh. Like, was Lilly Mintz there with us?
JULIA: The Rowes weren't there, but the Mintzes were. And her family and friends were cheering her on, and there were these two twins there on the team named Carolina and Madeleine.
ME: So do the Mintzes exist in an alternate reality or something?
JULIA: No! None of the people, like US, exist, except for SOME people.
ME: Like who?
JULIA: Like...the actors from Harry Potter, the people from Hamilton, and stuff like that. And like, Kate and Bob and all the swim coaches...THEY all exist. They're all swim coaches for the Mintzes.
ME: But Lilly Mintz basically does everything you do. So is she in a parallel universe?
JULIA: No. She lives in THIS universe. She lives on EARTH. But it's made-up people. Except for some people who, like, NEED to be there, because it would be weird to invent, like, different swim coaches and stuff.
ME: But you invented all the other people.
JULIA: I know! But they're all based on another friend or another person I know.
ME: So, tell me what the mom is like. Is she based on me?
JULIA: Yeah, she's like you. She's nice.
ME: Does she look like me?
JULIA: No. She has blonde hair. And she has tanner skin. Like, she and Jasper Mintz have Vermilion, and she plays the flute...
ME: What else does she do?
JULIA: She...well, I *mainly* think about the kids, so I don't think about the adults much. But...she does stuff that YOU do. Like, she has a blog!
ME: I find it odd that Lilly Mintz does all the same thing you do, but you're not part of her life. So you and Lilly Mintz don't know each other?
JULIA: No. I don't EXIST in her world.
ME: She doesn't think about you while she gallops?
JULIA: No! She doesn't gallop. And she isn't imaginative.
MADELEINE: But Lilly Mintz is basically YOU! She doesn't ever think about you??
JULIA: No. But sometimes it's hard if she reads the same books as me, because I'm going into fifth grade, and she's going into HIGH SCHOOL.
Then Madeleine got interested in understanding the Mintz situation.
MADELEINE: Julia. So. They're LIKE us, but they're also totally NOT like us?
JULIA: No. They're LIKE us. (thoughtful silence) Wait. I'm just TOTALLY confused about this different universes thing.
And now we are on to a VERY complicated existential conversation that is not really quite being understood by either kid. I am trying to explain the theory of alternate universes, but it's too complex an idea for the kids to grasp.
MADELEINE: So, like, maybe in another universe, your LEGS are on your HEAD, and you walk on your hands?
JULIA: (after a long period of deep thought) I don't know why, but I'm having trouble PROCESSING that there are different universes.
So, yeah, I'm gonna just let this one drop for now. Maybe in another five years we can return to the multi-verse discussion but for now I'll just accept the fact that Lilly Mintz doesn't live in a parallel universe even though she basically mimics Julia's life but surrounded by different people. I think I just might be as stumped by that concept as the kids are about the alternate universe one.