I rarely put on the radio in the car. See, I travel with my own variety show. Some days it’s scientific inquiry. Some days it’s music appreciation. (Darling, I appreciate crooning when it’s not at “screech-owl” volume and pitch.) Some days it’s just the random musings of a mind that doesn’t really believe in social rules and physical impossibilities.
Regardless of what we’re tuned into it’s always more interesting than the latest radio hit.
The other day, Fiona asked me, from her new big-girl booster seat, “Mommy, are robots real?”
I find that no matter the question, no matter how simple the answer seems at face value, it is important to consider what she’s asking and why. “What kind of robots are you asking about, Baby? Do you mean the awesome kind with lasers that run around fighting crime and blowing up bad guys, or the kind that are like people? Because that kind isn’t real yet. But there are real robots that do real jobs. They do things like bend metal, or they pick up things and put them places, sometimes they go places people can’t and take pictures. But they aren’t like the ones you see on TV, they are simple than that.”
Then there came a long silence from the backseat.
I let the wheels turn.
“Mommy? What kind of scientist?”
“What kind of scientist does what?” I ask. She sometimes wanders from the original question.
“What kind of scientist builds robots?”
“Ah.” I answer, “An engineer.”
“Okay.” She begins. She has this special definitive tone she uses when she’s making a declaration of something important. “Mommy. When I grow up I am going to be a en-gi-neer. AND I am going to building amazing robots. Not boring ones. And then I will take over cities. I will be a engineer. ”
“Excellent!” I say.
And I don’t laugh, because she’s at that age. And because one day she will build robots.