who's the mommy around here anyway?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Mysteries of the Universe

Every now and again I like to read some good non-fiction, and my tastes run to history, and to physics. Stephen Hawking confounds me, but Brian Greene writes at a level I can just barely understand and enjoy. I discuss his writing with Laura, my 15 yr. old, and we marvel at all we don't understand about the universe and the mysteries thereof.

Mathematicians and physicists seem to be trying to work on something familiarly called the "Theory of Everything," a theory that would explain how the universe works. It would be a fluid theory without fault which would work in every given situation. In my limited understanding, the theories that currently explain our universe work well, but each works only under narrow and specific circumstances. The theory of everything might have to take into account that our understanding of the three dimensional nature of our universe is flawed and that there are more than three dimensions, perhaps many more than three, depending on who you believe. As Brian Greene states it, and my understanding is limited by my lack of genius, there could be dimensions so large or so small that they are imperceptible to our senses, and can only be measured by devices that we haven't yet invented. But in the future..... We're making strides, and the future holds limitless possibility. All will be understood, told, unveiled. I look forward to unraveling the mystery. I believe that once you lift the foggy veil, you'll be able to see to the heart, to the core of it all. I often think that the heart of the mystery is really the face of God. I also think looking at the face of God is a scary proposition.

I believe in God, not the literal, biblical, creation in 7 x 24 hr. days God, but God nevertheless. I believe there's a point to the lives that we lead, that it isn't just nonsense or accident that put us here. I also think that a little bit of mystery is good for the soul. Indeed, if there is no God, then is there a soul? If we understand all that there is to understand, if we can explain away all the mystery with science, where then falls morality? Without God, can we have a moral center or a moral compass?

I look forward to finding out if string theory is reality. I look forward to seeing if science can find a unifying theory to explain the workings of the universe. I don't want anyone to explain to me that I have no soul (yes, there's a book out there written by a brilliant man of science who explains biology and shows just where in the brain the soul might originate, but I don't really want to know this). I want science and faith to mesh, like two friends who agree to disagree and somehow find a way to co-exist, not just peacefully, but agreeably, happily, with backyard barbecues and occasional block parties on holidays. Is this too much to ask?

Thursday, November 02, 2006


I was never a parent who wanted to be her child's best friend. I knew who I was. I told my kids who I was from the start. I was the mommy. I was the parent. Make no mistake about it, I was, and still am, the boss.

But then raising my girls, I found myself involved in something quite unexpected, a new openness, uncharted territory, something I never had with my mom. My girls and I could talk about anything. We do talk about anything. And that's where I went wrong. I should have quit while I was ahead.

Never become friends with your daughter until you're both much, much older, like menopause older, like my mom and me, because if you do, you might find that your daughter will try to confide in you those secrets best left to the whispered conversations you'd normally have with your best friend in places where you're sure no one else can hear you. Don't even try to tell me you don't know what I'm talking about! That's right, I'm talking about


Yes, those conversations. The conversations my mother never, ever had with me. She probably should have at least broached the subject at some point and if she had I promise I would never have reciprocated by telling her all my dark sexual secrets and favorite positions as my daughter seems hell-bent on telling me. Or asking me. How do you respond to your child, do you give her advice and refer her to the Kama Sutra? Or maybe the Joy of Sex? Our Bodies, Our Selves? Once again, I am not her best friend and there are some things that just shouldn't be shared. It's not natural. I DON'T WANT TO KNOW!!!!


Anybody got a bottle of scotch?