I saw PJ standing on his head in a dark room the other day. His body was leaned up against the sofa, an he was just sitting there, standing on his head, silent. "PJ, what are you doing?" I said.
"I'm just, I'm just -- I was just going to play a game on the computer." He said, and rushed out of the room. Who knows what goes on inside his mind. Wheels are spinning, certainly, but what wheels, and to what end?
He is at the age where he has started to ask me very difficult questions. Last night he asked me where god lives.
I tried to be precise. "Well, god lives in heaven, and some people think that heaven is up in the sky"
"But isn't god all around us?"
"Well, yes, he is all around us too. That is called omniscience"
"I think he's in the wall." PJ pointed at the wall next to his bed.
"OK, that's fine. God is in the wall. Good night PJ." I was tired of answering questions. We are on about the hundred something-th question already.
"You can turn the lights out. I'm not afraid of the dark." Of course, the night light stayed on.
"OK, PJ, good night" I said, and started to walk towards the door. It was within reach when he hit me with another zinger.
"How does the nightlight know to turn on?"
"Well, the nightlight can tell when its dark out."
"But how does it know when to turn on?
"Well, it has a photosensitive switch that can detect the light."
"But how does it know?"
"Well, light has little tiny things called phosphors, and when enough of them go flying past this litle piece of metal then it cause an electrical reaction that can cause a switch to fire, turning the light on. Now GOOD NIGHT PJ!" I finally shut the door most of the way, and crept downstairs.
I just made all of that stuff up about the night light. All I really wanted to go downstairs and sit in a chair in peace and quiet. But how can he think of all these questions? It must be incredible to have the world around you be so full of wonder.
Sometimes I can see it in his eyes, and it makes me sad because I remember how it was that way for me sometime impossibly long ago. But now its my job to explain things to him, to make the world real, to take that away, so that he knows better than to stand on his head in a dark room.