I just had the most cosmically surreal bedtime with Dash, in which we had conversations I really would not have thought possibel with a four-year-old. I deployed a new book for tonight, Serafina Nance’s “Astronomy” in the Little Leonardo series, and afterward Dash had many insightful questions that took me to the limit of my knowledge about the Big Bang, how rocks were formed, what it would sound like if a gas giant collided with a rocky planet…
Literally, I would not have believed someone telling me that a kid his age could understand so much. But, sure as anything, he is using that remarkable ability that powers human children—gaining understanding of the entire world around them—to build a model of the universe in his mind right now. He wants to understand the physicality of it, and commented in the end that “Space controls itself.”
I responded, “Yep, space is something that we can’t control. We are just tiny creatures out there.”
He asked what Earth sounds like, and I played him some audio. He fell asleep to the hum of our planet spinning through the solar system, which blended in perfectly with the white noise machine as he drifted off.