Sunday, October 26, 2008
One of the best things about having children is that through them, we get to see the world for the first time, and feel all those first blushes of wonder, over and over again.
I was reminded of that today. E and I took my three year old son Trixta (I'll be using their hip-hop nicknames for privacy's sake) and my six year old son Sno-cone for a walk up to the University of Victoria library where I had to photocopy an article (E's hip-hop nickname is Skinny Dip).
On the way there, Trixta - a very attentive little chap - noticed that there were no more blackberries on any of the bushes along the trail by our house.
"Where did all the blackberries go, Dad?".
"They're gone now" (ridiculous answer, I know).
"Where did they go?".
"Well, the blackberries stopped growing, and the ones that were there fell on to the ground, and...the birds probably ate them all".
Trixta stopped and investigated the bushes more carefully. I thought I could guess what he was thinking and feeling:
Why do blackberries just start growing all of a sudden, and then just stop growing all of a sudden? How does that work exactly? It seems all kind of strange...kind of mysterious...
And in that moment, I realized just how good those questions were. I didn't have any better idea than he had.
We finally got up to the library. I swore them all to silence and made Skinny Dip promise to not throw the rugby ball around inside (we'd brought it with us to play catch on the way up). We entered and made our way over to the photocopy machine. I didn't realize it, but neither Trixta nor Sno-cone had ever seen one in action. Both were entranced. They took turns pushing the big green button, and "oohed" and "aahed" every time a new sheet of paper popped out. ("WO. That's cool!")
And hearing all their questions about how the machine worked made me realize how little I myself knew about it. The best I could muster was, "it takes a quick photo of the piece of paper". That that was the extent of my knowledge left me, again, feeling quite a bit of wonder myself.
And now I am about to push the "send" button on this laptop computer; and the words I type here will magically float through the air, and - I guess - into an antennae, and through a wire, and into something called "cyberspace", and be instantly available to people all around the globe. And I have no idea how any of that works, either.
And I wonder just how much more, really, I understand about the world, than my kids...