BB has been very concerned lately with the "good guy -- bad guy" dichotomy.
(I blame Star Wars, which is extremely popular at our house right now. The kids have only seen the original (episode 4) Star Wars, but for the past few weeks at bedtime S has been telling them the story of the rest of the movies, so they are very familiar with it by now.)
Tonight at bedtime, she wanted to know, "Mommy, are all bad guys made up?"
Well, no, I explained. There are real bad guys in real life.
"Why?" she wanted to know.
(Ah, here we are, the problem of evil at age 4 and a half. And of course my husband the philosopher was working late this evening and not around for bedtime, so I couldn't fob off the question to the resident expert.)
Keeping in mind all that parenting advice I've read, I turned the question back to her. "What do you know about that?"
There are good guys and bad guys, she told me.
"And you know what, Mom?" she said.
"Even if you weren't my mom you'd still be one of the good guys."
Which, for this particular evening at least, seemed enough of a resolution to the problem of evil for this particular little girl.