I've been having this thought about how the universe is expanding. Our galaxy is in the middle of it, the universe, that is, but what that means is that the galaxies on the edge further out are moving farther away from us, faster. It makes me feel lonely. Like when you're at a concert in a crowd of people, alone. You're not alone, but you feel like it. That's what I feel like in the universe. Brainy science dudes say that its very likely that there's other intelligent life out there, but the chances that they will have reached technological maturity enough to venture far enough away from their own planet to reach us, at the same moment in time that we are evolved enough to greet them is very unlikely. The earth is 4-1/2 billion years old. The entirety of recorded human history from cave paintings to now is like 40,000 years and of that only the last 7000 is documented in any real way. So here we are hurtling through space a fleck of dust on a gnat's ass (in cosmological terms), and the mathematical likelihood that we'll be alive at the exact moment in geological time that another advanced civilization reaches us is infinitesimal. So that's a bummer. But in that thought there is hope. If aliens can't be our friends, maybe we should be friends with the people we have here on Earth. I'm a friendly guy. Will you be my friend?
Which brings me to my point with all this. As a father I'm going to need to be an expert in a lot of things. Or I'm going to need to be perceived as an expert. Kids ask a lot of questions. I plan to have a lot of answers. For instance, today at lunch my boss was looking at these single serve creamers I had to go in my coffee. They weren't refrigerated, but they were real half and half. He was concerned.
"Those don't go bad?"
And I said, "No, they're shelf-stable"
"What do they do to them?" He pressed.
"A wizard blessed them." And that finished the conversation. Of course a wizard blessed them. They were wizard-blessed half and half's. These are the kinds of answers I'll have at the ready to tell my kid. I'll be very convincing. And who is going to judge me? You?! Science is magic. Religion is just stories. Facts are debatable. It'll be great. I'll be the repository of all bullshit knowledge. Jelly beans are unicorn poops, that sort of thing.
In fact, this goofiness has already begun. When we told people what we were thinking about naming our kid, we played a little joke on them. We'd say, "We came up with the perfect name....Methany!" and then let their faces crinkle up into a forced smile and they tell us what a nice name that was, unique and the like. And then we'd go. "Just kidding, its Amelia." and they'd let out a sigh of relief and admit they were only being polite and that they were so glad it wasn't something as stupid-sounding as Methany. But I guess with a couple of my buddies, I let the joke too far. As in, I never told them what her real name was at all until one of them sent me a "Congratulations on your new baby!" card and it was written to Methany's parents. Now I'm trying to remember who else we told that dumb name to and who might still not know we were fibbing. If you are reading this and you are a friend of mine her name is Amelia and I'm sorry I forgot to tell you the truth. I guess the joke is on me because you really thought I was one of these awful parents who invented a name with the word Meth in it. Lovely.