Science with Nana
May 13th, 2012
The other evening, while I was doing some packing, I began to catch snatches of an animated and excited conversation taking place in the kitchen between Miss Mouse and my mother.
When I wandered in, I found them leaning intently over the counter, with a few small bowls set before them. The bowls were filled with random ingredients — rice, pasta, lentils, coffee, oatmeal, etc. — as well as some water. A science experiment was under way.
Which was heavier? The oatmeal or the rice?
What would happen to the pasta if they put it in water? What if the water was heated in the microwave?
Why were the lentils changing shape when they were soaked?
Miss Mouse was enchanted. She has the natural curiosity of a preschooler. And my mother has the natural curiosity of a life-long learner. My mother loves to learn. She has questions about absolutely everything and loves to discover the answers to how things work.
For some reason, I didn’t inherit those genes. I’m just not that curious about my surroundings. I was great in school because I was competitive and had an excellent short-term memory, not because I loved learning. (Which could also be why I have retained virtually nothing from my many years of formal schooling, I fear.)
It’s one of the many reasons I’m grateful to have my mom around so much. She’s happy to engage Miss Mouse’s curiosity and conduct experiments in the kitchen. Or the backyard. Or the car. Or pretty much anywhere! I’m lucky to have the perfect grandmother for my perfect children.
Happy Mother’s Day, Nana!