She Blinded Me…
With a growing confidence over the last several years, I have grown slightly cocky concerning outcomes. I will make ‘bets’ when I feel I am right about something and usually follow my deal with, “I’m 85 percent certain I’m 95 percent right.”
My confidence is pretty low when it comes to being a parent. And I already know I’m not alone. I read about it all the time. “I’m certain I’m screwing up my kid.” “I’m prepping my kid for therapy later on.”
I’m 85 percent certain I’m doing everything wrong. But I won’t put money on it. There’s a chance I’m actually doing ok…and saying so at the same time, I wince.
I know we aren’t supposed to compare ourselves because it’s not healthy and I know we do it anyway. Sometimes it can be healthy. Like the time I took my daughter to Meow Wolf in Santa Fe, for the third time — at her request. As usual, she freaks out at the entrance. Refuses to go inside — hysterical past the hydraulic door, but then I try to calmly remind her about the first unexpected portal she found, on her own, that leads to another dimension. And then she remembers, stops squirming in my arms for the EXIT doors, and pulls on my hand, dragging me, to follow her as we crawl through the fireplace.
That time, she saw a little girl there, who was slightly younger than her. She immediately started tagging along with her new “friend.” As I let my daughter tag a long, it occurred to me that maybe this friendly family would rather be left alone to explore the exhibit by themselves. However, I know how much it means to my daughter to find and play with other kids and the two little girls were enjoying each others’ company so I struggled to restrain myself. I just followed her as the little girl was escorted through the exhibit…my daughter desperately trying to keep up.
As I watched the dynamic of this older than 20s first-time momma pull her daughter away from one activity to another and keep her away from exploring the most cool parts of the exhibit, I felt a slight pang in my heart for her daughter. I know adults have their agendas. I often have to wrangle my daughter from the house into the car, out of the car, into the store, into the cart, past the toys, back into the car, rush, rush rush…but this is MEOW WOLF. A place you can’t possibly explore in ONE DAY let alone one hour. And honestly, more so than thinking, “Man…I’m glad I’m not that bad.” I really wish that I could’ve told that first-time momma, “Go ahead, I’ll watch them.” But I knew she wasn’t that kind and honestly I wouldn’t be that kind either. So instead, when the family left in their rush, I had to console my distraught daughter that her new friend had to leave to go do other things with HER family. Maybe we will meet each other again, I told her. Such is the heartache of life, right?
And so today we found ourselves in Alamogordo at the Space History Museum. And thinking that my daughter would LOVE looking at the rockets that go into space…instead, we RACED from the fourth floor down to the bottom in record time. Zipped past the hundred photographs of men who contributed to physics and space and the four colored photographs of women. We spent the most time jumping into pretend space suits and taking photographs with plastic helmets and stacking plastic building toys into fences.
The little bit of knowledge that I managed to impart on my daughter is the following:
1) There are few women who have been recognized among all the men when it comes to space exploration. But it is extremely important to know they followed their dreams. It is important that they are recognized.
2) Rockets have fins to guide them. And they are pointy in shape. (I think this calls for future experiments in resistance and friction…)
3) Engines are really hot. Fire pushes the rockets up into space.
4) Satellites relay information to our cell phones in waves. (Another call for exploration regarding waves, ripples, and echoes.)
5) If we were going to space in a shuttle we would be looking up straight into the sky.
6) Freeze-dried ice cream is absolutely AMAZING no matter how expensive it is!
I know a lot of this isn’t technically correct but I was trying to intrigue her curiosity the easiest way I could to help facilitate future connections.
The most important thing for me, for her, is that she isn’t afraid. Isn’t afraid to fall, fail, question, think, learn. If there is one concrete mantra that I would want anyone to learn is that we are born scientists. We are born to explore. I’m 100% certain of that.