Thursday, April 21, 2005

The Evolution of the Three Year Old Brain

It’s started. Sam has started asking insightful questions (“why, Daddy?”) and is letting his three year old brain come up with what he thinks are the right answers.

We were at John & Esther’s new house last Friday night for what promises to be a long summer of food, fires, and fun. Sam was in his glory, running around, throwing balls for the dogs, eating, and generally being a very good boy, as he usually is in public. Towards the later part of the night, he was obviously getting tired, so I picked him up and we had some quiet time just talking.

All of a sudden, he looked up and said, “Look, Daddy, the Moon is on!”

“Yes, it is Sammy.”

“Someone flew up in a plane, and fixed the light, and now the moon is working.”

How does one respond to this?

My first inclination is to head straight into my comfortable place, Geekdom, and try to explain exactly why the moon is shining (reflecting, actually, but I won’t start). But then I realize just what is happening in Sam’s Brain. For me to put the brakes on this would be akin to telling a 3-year-old Mozart to quit fooling around and stick to scales.

On to Sunday, when one of Sam’s balloons bit the dust on a tree branch in the back yard, he picked up the largest shard and said, “What happened to the balloon?”

“It popped, pal. That red piece is all that’s left.”

“Where’s the rest of it?”

I thought for a second he was implying that it had broken into lots of pieces, like one of Mommy’s new plates when it “accidentally” hits the floor. But then, again, I realized what was going on in Sam’s Brain.

That red balloon sure was a lot bigger before. Where did all the stuff inside go? I still haven’t come up with what I feel is a good explanation. How do you explain air?

Suggestions are welcome, unless you geek out on me. If you do, you’re useless to me and I’ll have to hurl a water balloon at you.

We know what’s inside those.