I tried, really I did. I wanted to have my entry for the Team WhyMommy’s Virtual Science Fair in early. But, well, life just didn’t work out that way this week. That happens sometimes when you have a nonverbal child with autism and other disabilities; not to mention we’ve entered the “I do it myself” phase with everything around here. And I do mean everything. But I digress.
The nice thing is that I know there is no penalty for late entry and the only prize to be won is the extra joy in Susan’s (aka WhyMommy) heart. That’s worth it right there.
I was all set to write about how inspiring Susan has been over these past couple of years as she’s fought cancer and empowered and encouraged countless other women in their fights. She’s been an amazing example of grace and strength and I’ve learned so much from her— and not just about cancer either!
When I was a kid, I struggled with science. I was interested in how things worked and joined the rocket club in grade school but, well, back then not too many girls were encouraged to explore science. Science was the domain of either the super geeky and “uncool” girls or the boys. Struggling to find my place in the social hierarchy, I caved to peer pressure and joined the drill team and worked on the yearbook staff instead.
You could say my scientific prowess peaked before I even hit the seventh grade. As the years passed, I lost my edge and my confidence; I became intimidated by math and science. After a while, I couldn’t grasp any but the most tangible of concepts. I spent the majority of my young adult life completely avoiding scientific subjects because I was convinced I wouldn’t understand them.
Fast forward a few more (ok, fine, many more) years and —voila! Enter WhyMommy/Susan. I was super intimidated by her at first because, well, she’s a rocket scientist. No, really! She’s an honest-to-goodness rocket scientist! What on earth could we possibly have in common? Turns out, plenty.
Since meeting Susan in the blogosphere, I’ve seen things through a different set of eyes. Sometimes literally, like when she shares the most amazing photographs of things viewed through the Hubble telescope. Sometimes, especially lately, as I home school my handful son, I find myself looking at things with a new perspective. Or, maybe it’s an old perspective being reawakened?
All I know is that I no longer just look at the sky and see blue. I start to notice textures and nuances. I look at my son playing with a toy and see more than a happy child; I see his highly inquisitive mind taking it all in and analyzing what he’s experiencing. We don’t have words yet to talk about these things together so we simply do them. But we’re learning together that science isn’t always about the complicated math and the space travel.
WhyMommy has reopened my eyes to the beauty and wonder of the science of everyday life. She’s rekindled my own curiosity and inspires me to foster my son’s. I may not ever be a rocket scientist, but I don’t have to be afraid of science anymore either.
Thanks, Susan, for a new beginning. I’m wishing you the same —and more.