I was in my 11-year-old son's bed having a bedtime cuddle.
I get stuck there sometimes, because it's so warm and comfy at the end of the day, and he lies so still and thoughtful that I go off into my own evening dreams.
I was thinking about painting furniture.
'Should I use Chalk Paint or Farrow and Ball? CP is much easier but F&B has a tougher finish. But then I would have to sand and I hate sanding. So maybe chalk paint plus wax. Should we buy a new TV unit or re-purpose that little Chinese cabinet? If I could find some colourful, bohemian flower pots and put some indoor tree plants on either side of the TV unit, it could look really good. I will do a Pinterest search for 'bohemian plant pots'.'
This is what my son was thinking about:
'I wonder whether the universe measures time? And I wonder whether there is some sort of black hole - somewhere in the galaxy, probably far away - that we could go into and see everything that has happened in the universe? But for that to happen, the universe would have to measure time differently. But it is probably not possible, because there is always a measure of time that is smaller - I mean, like underneath seconds there is a measure of time that is smaller than seconds, and so on. So it is probably not possible.'
(I can't be 100% certain I got that down totally correctly.)
The conversation had begun like this.
Him: 'What are you looking at on your phone?'
Me: 'I am researching TV units and plant pots.'
'Why are you so interested in furniture?'
'Hmmm. I don't know. I am. I'm obsessed with furniture.'
Silence. Me wondering whether the woven Ragkorn pots in Ikea would do, or whether I should buy some terracotta ones and paint them myself.
Stroking his hair, and his cheeks, which I swear are as soft as they were when he was a baby.
'You have such soft skin,' I said.
He stroked his own cheek.
'Hmph. To me it feels bumpy.'
'How are you feeling?' I asked him.
'Tired.' He yawned.
'But I mean generally, in life, how are you feeling?'
'Oh. I don't know.'
'Do you think,' he asked, 'that there is a limit to how far we can see? Like, if there were no obstacles, do you think we could just see on forever, or is there is a limit to our vision?'
'Um,'I replied. 'I don't know. We can see to the horizon? At least, when it's not cloudy.'
'Yeah, like maybe we can keep on seeing forever, or, like, until the curve of the earth becomes too great and then we can't see further.'
'Then we can see only sky,' I said.
'You ask very interesting questions,' I said.
'Yeah. Sometimes I ask myself such complicated questions that I get confused in my mind. Like, I wonder: does the universe measure time?'
And so on.
You know: those moments when you realise you know nothing about what is going on in the minds of those closest to you?
And are amazed.
Back to my bohemian plant pots.
aka The Writing Parent