posted 2018-06-03 00:26:56
The other day, coming home from church, we saw a turtle crossing the round-a-bout. Of course we had to stop. How often do you see a turtle? So we stopped down the road and walked back up to the turtle zone, me and the two kids. My wife stayed with the baby kid who was sleeping.
I was driving so I forgot where the turtle was. I started looking in the grass, thinking it was closer to the creek. Then I saw dad and his 3 kids all done up in their church clothes, looking at the turtle up the sidewalk. Another cool dad!
"You guys had the same idea, huh?"
"Yeah my wife's in the car."
"Same here, with the baby."
"Pretty good science lesson, huh?"
NOT a cool dad. Is it really a science lesson? Or is it really a lesson? Does everything have to go back to school and teaching? Is that your role as a dad to be the orator of various lessons for your children to soak up as they stare up at you with cow eyes? Are you just a secondary mouth piece for your school so your kids can get ahead of other kids? "And I saw a turtle this spring and that turtle changed the course of my life and I knew that I would become a marine biologist and I studied books until it became an obsession and then all of the sudden I found myself at 25 without a clue how to act as a human being!"
I'm glad we made a stop between our air conditioned church and our air conditioned house to leave our air conditioned car for a science lesson. What was the lesson exactly? That we stop to look when something is unusual? Oh no of course not. We need a socially acceptable reason to leave the air conditioning. "Because... Science!"
Science is not magic. The phrase "because science" attempts to make science into magic. Science follows the scientific method, which is you have a guess and you run tests to see if your guess is right or wrong. That's it!
So what was the "science" lesson, dad? We guessed that we saw a turtle. We stopped. Of all of the 100's of cars passing in those 10 minutes, we were the only two cars to see the turtle and leave our air conditioning for our kids to look at the turtle. We are good dads for that. But was our hypothesis that we would find something other than a turtle? Maybe it would be a bear or an alien or a black hole that would suck us into another dimension. Great science lesson dad, you got us sucked into a black hole! Mom is still in the air conditioning and we're stuck in this infinite gravity well, which will take us light years to escape! Even if we continue moving away, it may be billions of years before we escape. By then mom will be gone and everything we know and love will be gone! We will slowly emerge next the the creek which has overtaken the banks and Kevin Costner's Waterworld is the new reality! How will we survive in this new situation? Has humanity left us a shuttle to escape to our own new planet? Do we have to start a new civilization with my kids and your kids? Will I be able to tolerate "Science Dad's" lessons?
No, we stopped because we wanted to see something ourselves. We wanted to see our kids see something that you don't see very often. We wanted them to take a second and stick a point C between point A and B. Stop and smell the roses, they say. We created memories.
You took a picture of your kids for your instagram which shows them holding their hands to their chests while the turtle hides under the tree. Then you rushed back to the air conditioning.
I let my kids touch the turtle. My daughter narrated for the video the type of turtle it was and they looked at it until they were done, respecting their mom's time in the car so we could eventually get home to point B.
You're a good dad, Science Dad, for stopping. Your wife is good for not nagging you to just keep driving in the air conditioning so you could get to their air conditioning in the house sooner. So is my wife. But everything doesn't need to be a lesson. How about next time you just say you stopped to look at something neat or unusual. Stopping and taking a moment is the lesson. Thanks for teaching me, Science Dad.