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One of the joys of my life is spending time with teenagers.  They never cease to amaze me; the connections their minds make can be surprising and funny, weird and wonderful, practical and fanciful.  And so profound.  I feel sorry for the adults who ignore teens, or judge them negatively without cause.  They don’t know what they’re missing. 

So I shouldn’t have been surprised when an 11-year-old (who, like many kids her age, seems to be going on 23) gave me the most wonderful answer to a deceptively simple question.

Here’s the question:  Pretend you must leave home for good.  You have 24 hours to pack one small suitcase.  What three things would you want to take with you?

The context was in a discussion about the exodus from Egypt, and what it must have been like for the slaves fleeing from Pharoah.

Her answer?  A picture of her parents, her cell phone, and a jacket.

When I asked why, she said that the photo would help her remember her mom and dad.  The phone would provide entertainment, because she could play games.  The jacket?  In case it got cold.

Like I said, they can be practical and profound, all at the same time.

What three things would you bring?