Monday, July 1, 2013

Mold Spirits

My boys were brushing their teeth the other night and I happened to glance down at the drain and notice black slimey stuff underneath the drain cover.  (And, before you ask, YES, you are welcome to stay in my immaculate home anytime...)  Since my guys seem to make teeth brushing an all night affair in order to delay bedtime, I decided to get in there and clean it out with an old toothbrush.  As the black chunks came up my son's questions started.

"Mommy, what is that?" he asked.  "It's mold, bud.  It builds up because it's so damp in the drain.  Mold loves to grow in wet areas," I explained.

"It's ALIVE!?" he asked with fascination.  "Yes, it is very much alive but it's hard to see the actual shape.  You would need a microscope for that," I told him.  "I'll bet we could take a look on the iPad in the morning."

Sensing an opportunity to delay bedtime further, he scooted off his little green stool and jetted for the stairs.  "I'll just get it now!  I want to see mold spirits now!" he yelled.

"Wait, bud.  You'll have to wait until morning.  And they are called mold spores, not mold spirits," I said.

"Oh!  I thought they were spirits because you can't see them!"  he said.  I can't deny his logic.

Around 6:30 AM, I awoke to my son standing 6 inches from my face.  In my blurry eyed vision, I could only make out the spikes of his blond hair standing on end.  "Mommy, you promised I could look at mold this morning," he said.  "So let's do it.  Let's do it now."

I rubbed the sleep out of my eyes and asked him to give me a minute to wake up.  I pulled myself out of bed thinking I could set him up with the images on the iPad and buy myself some time for a cup of coffee.  I started the coffee pot as he ran to the couch awaiting this exciting event.  I handed him the iPad and his enthusiasm was contagious.  "Wow!  It looks like flowers!  What kind of mold is this?  What kind of mold is this?  What kind of mold is this?" he asked as he scrolled through the images.  What did parents do before Google?

Just then, his brother woke up.  "Mommy - You wait here!  I'll go get Drew!"  he said.  I took the opportunity to pour that long awaited cup of coffee then headed upstairs.  I opened the door a crack and saw my oldest teaching his brother all that he had just learned about mold.  He had the iPad in the crib and was scrolling through all the pictures.  My youngest, however, wasn't feeling the enthusiasm.  He was leaning against the corner of the crib staring at the ceiling hoping for this diatribe to end.  It was their personalities in nutshell.

Who knew that mold would ignite his interest?  Who knew that he would spend days and days asking about it and learning about it?  While my youngest wasn't interested in this particular thing, he will have his own passions that his brother will have to suffer through.  We will learn things we never expected to learn as we walk this journey together.  

What surprising questions do your children ask?

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