Sydney suggested yesterday that we record a short clip of the sound of three of us coughing: Katherine, Sydney, and me. That would explain the silence of the last couple of weeks. But though that sounds pretty dire, it’s just moderately annoying–and taking up the energy we like to use for more interesting things.
Nathaniel has, however, sailed through without any illness thus far. And though he’s learning that sick people don’t have much patience for nonsense, I have taken him out for evening walks several times recently, where he’s been able to claim my attention for more wide-ranging discussions. We both really like those: he can spin an idea out over several miles, I can offer only occasional responses, and we both get exercise and fresh air. One of his musings went something like this (spread out over a 2-to-3-mile walk around town):
N: “Mom, do you know about those shoes that have those light-up parts at the back?”
Me: as little of a “yes” as I could get away with, so as not to encourage him to think I’ll buy him new shoes any time soon
N: “Well, do they take electricity? Batteries? I know we don’t want to do things that take up energy, so I was wondering if I could stick candles to my shoes instead. We like candles, and they make for a really pretty light–and they wouldn’t cost us electricity or batteries”
[can you tell we’ve had the “turn off the light when you leave the room” talk recently?]
Me: what about shoes lighting on fire??
N: “Well, maybe I can make a special holder for the candle, since it’s still the best thing for not wasting energy.”
Me: Not wanting to discourage him from saving energy, but not wanting him to get the idea that only particular kinds of energy matter, pointed out that candles use energy, too, and reminded him that the whales he’s been learning about in school recently were hunted for material with which people used to make candles [clearly a bad idea to have a mom who teaches Moby-Dick]
N: “Hmm. It’s a good thing candles aren’t made from that anymore. Well, I guess we don’t really need flashlights on our flashlight walk around town, do we? I can just use the streetlights to see, and the stars and moon to see. So maybe I don’t need lights on my shoes, either. We’ll go fast in the dark.”