Sunday, July 18, 2010

On the Origin of Species

I picked Alison up this afternoon from her first weekend in a gated community. She'd been invited to an overnight in Carmel at the home of her friend Dominic's grandparents.

Both Jeff and I went to meet the family before we gave her over. Not so much because we didn't trust them, but because when she saw the huge pool in the backyard, the tennis court, the home theater and the playroom downstairs, we were sure she'd never want to come home. We went to case the place for when we had to break her out.

Somehow, I managed to extricate her without having to call in the National Guard. On the way home, I was treated to this:

"Hey, Mom. Did you know that God did NOT create the world?"

"Really? What makes you think so?" I ask, knowing she'd had doubts but I'd left her with a very Catholic set of grandparents. What had gone on at Casa Fabuloso?

"Well. Here's what really happened," she said. "First, there was just the atmosphere. That's all there was. It was dark and really cold. And then, the sun was formed and it's heat started to move some of the gasses around. God had nothing to do with it."

"Really. Well, how did the atmosphere and the sun get there?"

"Uh. Well," she said. "I don't know that. Let's just go back to the atmosphere. OK?"

"OK, but do you think, maybe God might have gotten the atmosphere started?"

"I don't think so. See, the sun was so hot, it heated everything up and the planets started forming. And then, here came life. God didn't do it."

"Wow. Where'd you learn all this? National Geographic?" I asked. She's got a subscription to National Geographic Kids and had kept each one. They're in stacks by her bed and in her bathroom. She spews random nature facts like that 8-pounded kid from Jerry Maguire.

"Well not just that. Science class. Scientists have discovered all of this stuff," she said.

"That's really interesting stuff," I said. "You sure know a lot of stuff. Now I'm not saying I have any of the answers, but what makes you so sure that the way God decided to create the world was by having the atmosphere there first and the the sun, just like the scientists say?"

"Well, where did God come from?"

"Um, I said I didn't have ALL the answers."

"This kind of makes my head hurt, Mom," she said. "Like, how did people come to the Earth? And animals?"

"I don't know Ali. It's pretty difficult stuff. No one really knows one way or the other about anything."

"You know what would help?"


"Time travel," said the Phinneas and Ferb fanatic. "If we had a time machine, we could go back and learn all kinds of things."

"That would simplify a few things," I allowed.

"Yeah," she said with a sigh. "That what we need for sure."

She's promised to look into inventing the time machine just as soon as she grows up. Her first project was going to be a tricked out car that the homeless could live in. It would have full kitchens, TV and all the stuff anyone would need. It would cost a dime to anyone who was poor. The rich, they'd have to pay millions.

But hey, a time machine would be cool, too.

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