The Long View
This afternoon I left work on the dot of four so I could vote (busy but no long lines, and a paper-and-pen ballot that reminded me of standardized tests) and pick up Mermaid Girl early at day care as a special treat. We were having pizza! for dinner and I figured she'd be out the door right away for that.
I figured so wrong. She was eating snack and refused to leave, so engrossed was she in a discussion amongst her friends, a thoughtful and articulate bunch I'll call Hermione, Ginger, and Katherine. I pulled up a tiny little chair and listened for a while.
Hermione (little button of a 3-1/2-year-old, in flowered headband):
My grandma lives in California. But it will be floating away soon, so I won't get to see her for a long time.
California? Floating away?
Katherine (5-year-old Senior Dragonfly and resident know-it-all):
Yes. California will be breaking off from the rest of the country and floating into the ocean. In a couple of weeks.
[General nods all around the snack table, unaccompanied by much concern on anyone's part for the fate of Hermione's poor grandma.]
How do you all know this?
Ginger (4-1/2, a nerdy sweetie with a perpetual runny nose):
It's in a book about the earth. I'll get it for you! Because I want you to understand.
[Scurries off to the Book Corner for written proof.]
There follows some geological discussion about earthquakes, which I feel bound to emphasize hardly ever happen (Katherine: "No, there are little earthquakes happening all the time."), and the theory of continental drift, with which they are all apparently familiar, before the conversation wends back to California:
You know, it's true that California may eventually break off and float away, but I don't think it's going to happen very soon. Not for a long, long time.
Mermaid Girl, helpfully:
Yeah, probably not till after all of us preschoolers are dead!
*Sigh* after tonight, California may wish it could float away...
Or maybe not. The night is young. Ptui, Ptui, Ptui*.
*Spitting three times-- the lovely Jewish version of knocking on wood