The Stars Were Out Tonight, and…

At dinner tonight, we watched the sun set over the water after exploding from behind a single cloud near the horizon.

We watched the lights come on along the quiet dock.

In a clear sky, we looked for constellations, the usual suspects but strikingly obvious. Big dipper. Orion…. A son’s sarcasm, “There are two stars in a line. They must be some god’s belt!”

While night came on, and my husband and I sipped our wine, our middle school sons debated the meaning of “infinitely small.”

Does “infinitely small” exist? Or do you eventually get to zero? Arms flailed. They argued during pasta and continued to debate over chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream.

Their third grade brother jumped in with “as the universe expands, which it is always doing, what’s small gets smaller.”

I was impressed that he had the confidence to leap into the fray.

And then he grinned, “They think close to the box. I think way outside the box.”

“Seriously?” said the oldest, “I am measurable no matter what happens to the universe.”

And then the two older boys returned to their debate, stars winking at us, lights reflected in the water, and a warm breeze barely whispering above a calm sea.

When I was in middle school, we talked about tv shows, boys, politics. I do not remember considering the universe or its infinite possibilities.

The Great Mystery

Another deep dinner conversation launched by a ten year old munching on a taco. “What do you think the biggest mystery in life is?”

“How we got here,” said Mom.

“What happened to the dinosaurs?” asked the six year old.

“Gravity,” added Dad.

“Why the universe keeps going and going,” said the eleven year old.

“Or does it end and where?” asked Dad.

“I think the earth was a big ball of fire for a long time, and then all these asteroids kept hitting us and soon there was water and other stuff,” the six year old likes the asteroid theory of disappearing dinosaurs too.

And then from the guy who started it, “which came first, the chicken or the egg?”

“That’s easy,” said Dad. “It’s always the egg.”