by Chris de Serres
She kept us up all night. Coughing for hours. Her breathing sounded like a coffee maker struggling to drop those last few droplets over the grounds. She woke up crying at 3am. She told me she had a bad dream. Some army soldiers came for me and took me away and she never saw me again. At 7am, I decided to call into work sick and spend the day with her.
We are trying our best to homeschool her. It’s difficult for two working parents to find the time and capacity to challenge our intellectually bright 6-year-old. But today is a new day, and daddy is staying home. We learned how to count big numbers. She pushed me to give her a grade, but I told her grades don’t matter. What matters is effort and persistence. You don’t need to get it right, you just have to try again.
We found a website about the Sun. The surface of the Sun is 5800 degrees (Kelvin)! Then we talked about water. About the boiling point and freezing point. We boiled some water over the stove and watched as the temperature gauge creeped to the boiling point. We saw hot water turn from liquid to vapor. Then we lowered the temperature. Next we put some water in the freezer and waited for it to reach the freezing point. Finally, we took a frozen block of ice and poured boiling water over the top of it.
I wish I could quit my job and just do this. Be an observer. A learner. A discoverer of fascinating things. An admiring of the enthusiasm and passion of children. She lives in a world that adults have forgotten. Everything feels possible. Possible is not a catchphrase or a fancy quote to post on pinterest. It feels like something tangible. Children live it and we simply try to stay out of the way.