“Why is the man strapped into the bed Grandma?” And there begun the attempt to explain gravity to a two and a half year old during her bed time story as she pointed at the picture book. But she wasn’t taken in. “Why is the bed floating in the sky?”
This grandmother didn’t tell the young girl to stop being stupid because you know, bed’s don’t fly. Nor did she say stop asking questions, just accept that the bed is floating in the sky.
Small children are inquisitive, they ask questions, and they know when you’re not given them the full answer. They keep asking questions, they want to understand. Because beds stay on the floor and people aren’t strapped into beds. So why is the man strapped into the bed, and why is the bed floating round the sky?
If this young girl decided to start a global conversation about beds flying around the sky and the inequity of men being strapped into such beds we might find it cute, we might admire her pluck and wish her well.
But we’d also want to encourage her to look at some books, consider what others have said and discovered in the past as they explored the same dilemma. Why does the apple fall from the tree? Why do objects float in space?
I don’t really understand why beds float through space, or would if there were any out there. You can tell me it is about gravity, and why that disappears in space. You can explain to me the pull of the earth, the moon and the tides. I can read and I can learn. And this makes me think, perhaps I should understand a little more about gravity – I have stopped asking the questions that are obvious to a small child and just accepted that when I get to bed tonight I don’t need to be strapped in.