A conversation from the sidelines at the elder Free-Ride offspring’s soccer game:
Dr. Free-Ride: Hey, what are you drawing?
Younger offspring: Stars.
Dr. Free-Ride: Hmmm.
Younger offspring: I know they don’t look like the way they teach you how to draw stars, but real stars don’t look that way.
Dr. Free-Ride: You have a point.
Younger offspring: Real stars don’t have five points. They’re little balls of hot mass.
Dr. Free-Ride: They are?
Younger offspring: Well, they look little in the sky. They’re big when you get to them.
Dr. Free-Ride: Fair enough.
Younger offspring: The sun is a star, but it looks bigger because it’s closer to earth than the other stars.
Dr. Free-Ride: Uh huh.
Younger offspring: The fire on the sun is exploded mass.
Dr. Free-Ride: Where did you learn that?
Younger offspring: From a book.
Dr. Free-Ride: See, we teach you to read and all of a sudden you no longer rely on us as your sole source of information.
Younger offspring: I think babies who are like two years old think the moon brings the night — that the moon brings the darkness.
Dr. Free-Ride: Because they notice the moon shining in the night sky?
Younger offspring: Yeah. But really what happens is the earth is turning, so the sun shines on different parts of it at different times.
Dr. Free-Ride: It’s amazing how much more you know now than you did when you were two years old.
Younger offspring: I think if you put a big kid’s brain in a baby’s head, then a baby could know a lot of things, too.