Yesterday, Fiona and I were having some quality Mommy-Daughter time. She likes jumping on the couch. I’m pretty okay with her jumping on the couch, though saying so makes me feel like I’m breaking some of the basic parenting rules.
She grins at me from the edge of the couch, bouncing, “Mommy! Watch this! I can fly!”
She bounces until I assure her that I’m watching, then leaps from the couch. “Wow,” I say appreciatively, “That was a big jump!”
She frowns, “I didn’t fly! Let’s try again!”
Again she jumps. And again. And again. Each time I appreciate the jump. Each time she becomes more disappointed. Finally she crawls onto my lap and concludes, “Mommy, I can’t fly.”
“It’s okay, Honey.” I pet her head. “Mommy can’t fly either. Do you know why?”
She shakes her head. I explain gravity. “Gravity takes stuff and makes it move closer together. So gravity makes the couch stay on the floor, and it makes Fiona fall onto the ground, and it even keeps your water in your cup.”
At that last one, she frowns at me, unconvinced. I smile, “Do you know what water would do if you didn’t have gravity?”
“It would stay in the cup.” She says firmly. Clearly, there are rules.
“Nope.” I say, “It would float like a bubble.”
“No.” She says.
“Do you want to see a video?” I ask.
“Yes!” She says.
We watch. First this video. Then another. Then another. Finally, I begin to run out of zero gravity videos. “Another one!” She demands.
“I’m sorry, Baby. We watched them all.” I answer.
“We will watch them again!” She says.
“Oh,” I say, smiling because she’s so excited. “Do you like them?”
She puts both hands on either side of my face and looks me squarely in the eye. “Mommy,” she says firmly, “This is so cool!”
Then she turns and points at a video on the screen. “Let’s watch this one again.”
We watch them all over again. Finally I ask her, “When you grow up do you want to be an astronaut?”
She looks at me and frowns. I wait while she considers her answer. She answers suddenly, with inspiration, “When I grow up I want to be a doctor! In outer space! I want to be a doctor-astronaut!”
Gravity is so cool. Zero-G is even cooler.