So, let’s discuss interplanetary time travel. The stuff of science fiction… jump in your pod and zoom through space and time in the blink of an eye. Open the door and find yourself in a new world. Each completely dissimilar from the last. Each with its own ecosystem, sun, and a whole new set of constellations. Each with no knowledge of the trauma, tranquility, or fascination of the last.
Tucking my kids in to bed is a bit like interplanetary time travel. Finch bounds into bed (he does much more bounding than walking) and remembers, just before his head hits the pillow, that he suddenly needs to go the bathroom again, or get another drink of water, or go find the blanket that has not left his side all day. And I send him off on that errand while I move on to Marianne’s planet.
Marianne’s planet: you know, the one where hair bows are intricately woven into the bed frame to improve its aesthetics and small blankets are hung from door knobs to dressers to serve as animal hammocks. At bed time on her planet the fan is always spinning and she is typically hiding under the covers as quiet as a mouse, waiting to giggle long after I have found her. I think she believes that if she chooses the time of discovery it must be a surprise, and it always is.
After that, the trajectory is set for Wilson’s planet. In mid-flight my craft is dragged back by the overwhelming gravity of a yelling child who states plainly, “I have something to tell you Daddy.” Then, once my attention has been properly focused, I am treated to the proclamation (I have been known to say, “No more proclamations tonight, Finch”): “Daddy, I love you. Tonight was a good night. I will see you in the morning.”
Back on course to planet Wilson. Currently on planet Wilson, all the talk is about hiccups. It has caused quite a buzz, yet only at nightfall it seems. Before I’m through the door the questions start. “Are there words you can say that will stop hiccups?” “Do hiccups last forever?” “Are hiccups dangerous?” It seems the people of that planet can scarcely speak in any way but questions.
After a narrow dodge past the outer reaches of Finch’s solar system I’m back home again. Just in time to stash the interplanetary time travel gizmo and get the kitchen cleaned up.