"What was that? That was an earthquake. What's an earthquake? Oh... It's when... You know... Like... We live on Planet Earth. I mean, we live in Baltimore, which is a part of Planet Earth. You know that ball you have, with the picture... Remember you asked me what it was, and I said it was Planet Earth? So that's what... So... We live on the surface of Planet Earth, in a place called Baltimore. Yes, in Maryland. Baltimore is in Maryland.
"Now, under the earth... like, under the ground in Baltimore and in Maryland and everywhere, there are plates. Hmmm... No. Forget I said that. There are big rocks under the ground, and sometimes they move because there's an earthquake. No, they move and THEN there's an earthquake when they move and hit each other. Something like that. So now these two rocks hit each other and there was a big BOOM, and it made everything shake all the way from North Carolina to New York or even further, and that's what just happened. Makes sense?
"No? Ask your mom when she comes home then."
I knew that day would come. I was a dreamer in high-school. In physics class, I sat by the window and watched the world. The teacher came over to my chair, and after a few quiet moments of just standing next to me (without me noticing), told the class, "We have a detective here! While we're wasting our time studying physics, he's busy doing his detective work. What are you looking at now, let me see... Oh, this guy walking there... Is he a spy? Are you searching for spies?"
Later that year, in the basement floor physics lab, which was the only air-conditioned room in the school, that same teacher told the class I was wasting the school's air-condition.
I didn't get science, in other words. And since we've made the decision to have kids, I was dreading the day I'd have to teach my kids something about science. As far as I'm concerned, if you fall off a plane, your best bet is to aim for a cloud, so at least it will be a cushy impact.
Considering I have no idea what I'm talking about, I think I actually did a pretty adequate job. And as long as my son never asks me about the way rainbows are made, I think I'm good.