Stick Figure Family

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

This thing called gravity...

I have one of the most remarkable children. I could give lots of remarks about her! One of her first accomplishments when she arrived as a seven-year-old was to sneak up on a sparrow sitting on our porch - and catch it with her bare hands. Wow! Talk about talent. This kid must know a lot! Maybe. Maybe not.

It must have been that same week that I looked out the window and saw her climbing a peach sapling in our backyard. A stray peach pit had taken root and grown about as tall as the dog kennel. As she climbed, I raced outside to warn her. But I was too late... as soon as she reached a goodly height of two feet, that poor tree crashed down onto the sandpile below! It wasn't far enough down to have hurt her. (Though to this day, she remembers me laughing at her experience with gravity.)

A few years later, she was even more daring. She followed Stephen up onto the roof of the house via the overhanging cedar tree. She didn't leap off of it onto the trampoline like he did, though. My constant vigilance prevented that trick! But, she was so cocky, knowing that she was as clever as her older brother - completely oblivious to any danger she might have been in.

Some things I just assumed she would have learned. For instance, most 13-year-olds understand things like the solar system and our place in it. Somehow they just know. You wouldn't think to come right out and teach such a thing, but doesn't television, the movies, even art depict us living ON the earth? Somehow this little tidbit of information had eluded her up until this point.

One fine summer day as she bounced on our trampoline, eager to get to spend the night outside, the two of us talked about the stars, the sun and our earth... then somehow she expressed confusion. "Why can't we just walk through the earth to the other side?"

Now it was my turn to be confused. What was she talking about? I asked her to imagine that she was an ant. Imagine if that ant was walking on an orange; the earth. "You would have to walk an awfully LONG way around and swim across oceans...." At this point it dawned on her: we live on the OUTSIDE of the earth, not the inside! In horror, she gasped, "Then why don't we fall off into space?"

"Don't you remember falling out of the peach tree about six years ago? There's this thing called gravity..."

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