As I lay awake feeling the movement of our unborn son, I continue to think about historical astronomers. Yes I know, that is not normally the 3 am musings of a first time mom-to-be. Part of me is worrying about the lesson plans I need to write for an astronomy unit that will be fast approaching as I start a new sesmester on Wednesday, but another part of my just wonders how they did it.
Isaac Newton, Kepler, Eratosthenes and all the rest of these renowned scholars who studied everything from music to the stars. What were their mothers like? Did they realize, looking at their two year old, that they had given life to a child that was going to be remembered for knowledge beyond their years? Honestly, probably not. There is a reason that so few women were remembered from those times, especially not in the rhelm of science. Yet, those mothers had babies, sons, who would look at the stars, and wonder “what if…” and still dared to write down their ideas.
When we found out we were going to be parents to a son, I was so excited. I never really thought that I would want a boy or a girl, but we agreed and knew we wanted a baby, without any real other conditons. But the day I found out it was a he, I knew that I had been secretly (and maybe not so secretly) hoping for that outcome.
Little boys are explorers, and society lets them be. Dinosaurs, machines, animals and adventure theme little boy clothes. Everyone knows that boys will find mud and dirt and probably bring frogs in the house. I grew up as a girl, with three younger brothers, who never had much luck with bows and matching clothes. Playing in the woods just made sense to me, along with all the dirt and rocks I could find to carry home and I even once took moss I had dug up to show and tell at school. As an adult, I am glad my parents let me be me.
He will be who he wants to be. Just as I lay here and feel his movement, he will continue moving in the direction he feels like going,hopefully letting me hold his hand a little along the way, searching for his unknowns.
“We do not ask for what useful purpose the birds do sing, for song is their pleasure since they were created for singing. Similarly, we ought not to ask why the human mind troubles to fathom the secrets of the heavens. The diversity of the phenomena of nature is so great and the treasures hidden in the heavens so rich precisely in order that the human mind shall never be lacking in fresh nourishment.” -Johannes Kepler, Harmonies of the World