Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Universe Doesn't Need Us

Riding to school on Friday, my kindergartner said, "Mom, I don't understand why we're here.  Since the universe doesn't need the earth and people, why are we here?  Why did the universe make us?"  Pretty big question for a five year-old. 

I thought, Hey, that's a great way to start my new blog!  If I didn't write it down, I'd be sure to forget it.

How did I answer?  Well, we only live 3-4 minutes drive from school!  I told her there are a lot of theories, but no one really knows. And then I gave here a quick run-down of the basics of evolution, explaining that this was MY theory.  I later mentioned her question to our new after-school babysitter; she has a cross hanging from both her neck and her rear view mirror, so I thought she might fill in some of the religious theory.

This morning a strange thing happened: the four of us went down into the basement and cleaned it up!  Weird.  It was such a disaster zone, I guess we all just knew it was time.  After an hour or so, my daughter started yelling at her dad, "What are you doing?  Just standing around?  Why aren't you working?!"  It was true, he was just milling around "overseeing" things.  She got him back to work.  I'll have to put her in charge of my son's homework time.

The kids are out of school for three days--Labor Day weekend.  Today I took them to some events in the park, including a dunking tank that was a fundraiser for our school.  I used to LOVE that as a kid!  My son managed to dunk the art teacher.  Three balls for $1; the dunk tank was only set up for 50 minutes.  There was a steady line the whole time.  Did they manage to cycle the kids through quickly enough to make much money?  Frankly, it doesn't seem likely.  But the kids sure had fun!

Then I took them to the neighboring town's indoor pool, which is nicer than the local pool.  I was about to call my ten year-old and his friend out of the pool to go home after an hour, but then they suddenly and spontaneously started playing with my 5 year-old.  She was so clearly relishing this rare attention that we stayed another 45 minutes.

Tomorrow dad (my kids' dad, not mine) has the day off, so he's watching the kids while I go to work.  I'm actually excited about that.  Is that sad?  I'm not sure, so I ask. 

I wish I could work on my book for most of the day, but I have all sorts of reviewing to do (a book review for a journal, a manuscript review for a journal, and a tenure review--gulp).  Plus teaching prep--but I'll probably do that late at night when I should be sleeping.  That's my m.o.

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