I am scared. And completely impressed, all at the same time.
Emma has always been ahead of the curve, developmentally. She is incredibly smart, and that's not just the proud Mama in me talking. At 19 months, she knew every fish in my five fish tanks by their scientific name. Before she was two, she could count to ten in two languages. From six months old, if we told her not to touch something, she wouldn't. We didn't have to childproof, she just didn't get into anything. She has thrown three fits in her entire life, and those were just before shots. Can't say I blame her.
My sister-in-law has told me many times, "She is not a normal child! This is not how babies act." Being as she was my first, I didn't believe Holly, and was proud as could be at my amazingly brilliant and well behaved daughter.
Holly was right.
Yesterday, Emma was walking around the living room, tossing her stuffed reindeer while she was walking. Then, she would stop and toss it.
"Hey, Mom?" she asked, "What makes it keep going while I walk?"
"What do you mean, hon?"
"Well, when I'm standing and I throw it, it stays here. But when I'm walking and I throw it, it keeps going with me. What makes it do that?"
That's right, folks. My five-year-old has discovered inertia.
Now, I am a math and science minded person. I took Advanced Physics in high school, and I understand the principles behind it. But how on earth do you explain the fundamental principals of physics to a five year old, even if that five-year-old is incredibly intelligent?
We talked for a bit about how an object in motion tends to stay in motion, and how an object at rest tends to stay at rest. I fumbled over my words and didn't actually teach her anything, as I was totally unprepared and probably appeared as a deer-in-the-headlights to my daughter, who had no idea what was racing through my head.
Seriously. How many kids even put it together that objects keep moving with you? She is five! What is going on in that amazing brain of hers, and how will that develop over time? What can I do to encourage this discovery, this love of learning, and how can I teach her things that she wants to know when her class is still learning the difference between a square and a rectangle? And what in the world is she going to ask me when she's thirteen? I should not have dropped out of college, it's going to take a PhD to raise this child! Dang, college! How much is this going to cost us as she becomes a nuclear physicist?
Sigh. I need to stop worrying, and take it one day at a time. But I really do believe that God has big plans for this child. I can't wait to see what happens next.