Seasonal Defective Disorder

During yesterday’s lazy Sunday morning, I several times teased you that it was really still night time. “See how it’s dark outside?” I said at 11:00am. “Don’t you hear the crickets chirping in the trees?” There were no crickets. “Look, there’s the moon! You better get back in bed.” You thought this was pretty funny (by lazy Sunday morning standards, anyway, I guess).

So at lunch I took a ball that has one green and one pink hemisphere (and thus a marked equator) and I turned on the LED flash on the back of my phone and turned off the dining room lights. I tried to explain how there really were places on the earth where it was daytime all summer long (whether it was bedtime or not) and where it was nighttime all winter long. I marked the ball’s north pole with a Sharpie and showed you how the earth sort of wobbles relative to the angle of the sun’s rays. I showed you how the poles pass in and out of darkness on a schedule that has little to do with our concepts of “day” and “night”. And I wasn’t sure how much of what I was saying was getting through.

Which is why I got all excited this morning in the car when you said “Dad, when you have my ball and it’s the earth…” I thought a synthesis question was coming. But then your tone turned remonstrative, and you said: “…don’t write on it with a marker, okay?”

Fair enough. It all makes me wonder how long you spent trying to erase the North Pole while cursing my presumption.

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