It Smells Like the Moon

There are days when I feel like I’m raising Bill Nye’s daughter. Laylee is forever experimenting, probing and hypothesizing about the world. She has an uncanny memory and whips out scientific facts at the strangest times.


At the playground a few months ago, she pointed to the center post of the see-saw and said, “That’s the fulcrum. You need to have a fulcrum or the see-saw won’t work.”

It turned out that Dan had told her about fulcrums 6 months earlier and she had just stored the knowledge away, waiting to pull it out randomly and force me to download a copy of my Junior High science textbook to my PDA for future reference.

She’s been sniffing around outside at night and has come to the conclusion that the moon smells like smoke from a wood stove. She was shocked the other day when that scent was in the air in the middle of the day. “Why does it smell like the moon in the day time?” When I tried to explain what the smell really was, she promptly shut me down. “No, that smell is the moon.”

The moon may emit a rather strong aroma, but the sun does not smell like much of anything. In Laylee’s scientific universe, the sun’s job is to bring us night. “When the sun goes down, it’s night and when the dark goes down, it’s day.”

Her amazing discoveries teach me every day to put aside my backward notions about the nature of the universe. Since becoming her mother, I have learned that I am not flat, particularly in the abdominal region and that the solar system does not revolve around me. I wonder what other truths I’ll uncover on this amazing journey of motherhood.

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