Staring at the textbook on the table, I had just begun studying the vocabulary for tomorrow’s test. Suddenly, my stepsister rushed into my room, her hand holding a book, The Great Rebirth of Dinosaurs.
“Neil! Why don’t we see dinosaurs anymore?” she asked.
“That’s a long story. Basically, some 60 million years ago, the dinosaurs were living happily here on Earth, but then one day…” As I explained it to her, I thought she would ignore my explanation that would have killed her dream of visiting Jurassic Park. Surprisingly, she responded with some follow-up questions:
“Where did the meteorite come from? And how do we know that’s what happened?”
I spent the next half hour explaining topics that ranged from the structure of the solar system to the theory of natural selection.
When the discussion came near to an end, my stepbrother toddled into my room.
“What did you tell Phoebe? I want to hear it too!”
I looked at my vocabulary book, which had lied silently on the desk for the past forty minutes, and felt two things: exhaustion, for I had just lost an hour of sleep, and the coming of age, for I was now the one answering all the questions, just like what my father did when I was little.
“So, there was this giant rock in the sky…”
As I talked, I saw the shining curiosity in their eyes. And that brought me joy.