Today I went as a field trip chaperon for my daughter and her fourth grade class to The Orlando Science Center. Six stories of some of the best kid-oriented/hands-on/totally cool science exhibits you can imagine. I touched a tornado made out of mist and watched a demonstrator throw a beaker of liquid nitrogen on a stage floor. Fort Lauderdale never had shows with liquid nitro. OSC offers reasonable ticket prices, too. If you're ever in town, and have kids, go.
Tonight I am a tired old woman with burning eyes, throbbing temples and aching joints who has been rudely reminded of how much energy nine and ten year olds have. Which is to say, an amount approaching infinity. All right, we played and laughed and had a wonderful time, but now I'm paying for it. Please note that on my tombstone, which should be commissioned by Friday at the latest, I would like engraved the following phrase: She Kept Up, The Fool.
This stuff is important, though. You need to talk to fourth graders about the nature of vortexes, how cold absolute zero is, and why NASA keeps crashing all those expensive things; it's an investment in the future. And know what? They love you for it. For taking the time, for listening, for being there. For understanding their insatiable curiosity. For some of them will be like me, and never outgrow it.