Contemplating the nature of existence…sort of

Moms, when your children were quite small, do you remember how life-saving a nap could be? Their nap time, certainly. But even more rejuvenating was the rare mom nap. The Husband was always very kind in facilitating mama-nap time for me whenever possible (there’s every chance that this was an act of self-preservation on his part…I don’t play nicely with others when sleep deprived).

One day during one of these delicious naps, I was lying on our bed hedonistically stretching out my alone time even though I’d been awake for several minutes. I heard some scratching and bumping at the bedroom door, and a few moments later a torn scrap of paper slid under the door.

It was a note from The Boy, who had just turned three years old at the time. He’d written in pencil: “Mama, I oent to pla oeith yo.” Translated, “Mama, I want to play with you.” How fascinating that he interpreted the “w” sound to be spelled with “oe,” yet recognized the spelling of the “th” sound.

I saved that note for a very long time, and recently I’ve been thinking about it. I’m terribly afraid I’ve lost it. I have an idea where it might be…but I’m afraid to look in case it’s not there.

Apologies to The Boy, who is now a Physics minor, for this analogy, but it makes me think of Schroedinger’s cat. In a nutshell (and this is probably a total misinterpretation) the cat in this thought experiment, sitting inside a box, is both alive and dead at the same time, as long as you don’t open the box to observe.

As long as I don’t go searching, The Boy’s beautiful note to me is not lost – it is both there and not there at the same time. For now I’ll let it live in my memory.

And thus ends our Physics/Philosophy lesson for today.


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