under the sun

Tuck sounded a little teary as he asked from the backseat,  "So you mean when the sun swallows the whole earth more kids will have been born a lot of times, and they'll all live long lives before then?"

We borrowed books about the solar system last week, and have been reading and re-reading them.  It is hard to grasp how huge the sun is, to wrap a brain around a billion years, to imagine the earth as uninhabitable.

Later in the tub, Tuck wanted to know, "It's going to be at least seventy days before the sun boils the oceans away and burns up the whole planet, right?"

Tollie quickly chimed in, "That sounds like an emergency! The fire engines will have to come and then the firefighters will have to spray water on all those flames and the water will go up very high and the fire will be all done and the firemen will save all the cats and dogs, too."
Tolliver is still figuring out that not everything can be controlled.  It stormed over the weekend, and not a fan of strong weather, Tollie said, "You need tell that thunder to be quiet."
Tucker replied, "Mom and Dad can’t just turn off the rain, bro."

They’re both learning that although we would do ANYTHING for them, that we will hold them tight and do our best to keep them safe, we can’t promise protection.
Tuck has been consumed by the idea that someday the sun may takeover the earth.  His brain has been accumulating questions about where we'll go live and what animals might survive, perseverating on how hot the planet will be and how nothing could survive here.  His queries come with fragile concern and intense curiosity.   There may be a whole world of worries in his head, but forefront is something that's predicted to happen in billions of years.  Perhaps he has to battle against the idea of death twice as hard as his peers.

We remind him that the sun's destruction will not begin until way after his children have children.  We mostly discount ideas that angels or unicorns or astronauts or an omnipotent being will arrive to save the day (or the cats and dogs) from a red giant.  We explain that we are not in control of thunderstorms or stellar evolution, of drunk drivers or bullies, of cancer cells or terrorists.  We admit to our own desperate, clumsy efforts to be brave.  We tell him that his courage can be built on the confidence that we love him, always, no matter what.  We explain that none of us can insure against anything with worry.
And we try not to waste energy worrying ourselves.


rht said...

I am glad those boys have each other to help keep things in perspective.

Poppy John said...

Jenni Baby,

I had no idea the sun was going to boil the earth.

Thank you for this information.

Tomorrow, I will cover our house with reflective aluminum foil.