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  • From early on, my daughter was curious about many things.

    As she grew from toddler into full-on child, she switched from all things pink, purple, and fuzzy and firmly into what I call her questioning phase. At first they were simple enough. Her first full sentence, said in Creole, was: "Is this my car?" Yes, my love. It is.

    But when that questioning turned to astronomical matters, I knew we had turned a page.

    Mommy? What are stars made of?

    Hmmm… Ammmm… I’m not sure. I think they’re made of a lot of different things.

    It didn’t help that I was driving, with no access to the internet at the time, else I would have done one of my classic “let’s go find out, shall we?” moves.

    She paused at my failed attempt.

    Hmmm, she said. Ok. What about the planets?

    Hrrrmph… Cough, cough… I don’t really know sweetie. Like the stars I think they may be made of lots of different things, but I’m really not sure.

    She nodded her head thoughtfully.

    How about the stars? Do you know how many stars there are?

    No, I don’t. I don’t think anyone does – there are so many. (Phew! An ok answer! I think...)

    This went on for a while longer. I could almost see it destroying the thin veneer of all-knowingness that had kept me glued to the pedestal she had constructed for me.

    After the onslaught, there was a long pause. And then innocently, she asked the final question.

    Mommy?

    Yes, my love.

    Should I ask you this next question, or should I ask someone who knows something?

    I laughed.

    Definitely someone who knows something.

    She grinned.

    Yup. We were going to get along just fine without the pedestal.
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