Monday, February 9, 2015

An Open Letter to My Son, 9, Regarding The Properties of Ice


Dear Son, 

Walking the cross-country trail last weekend with you in an attempt to "bond" "outdoors" I learned that you don't understand some basics of cold weather science. 

For example that water, when it's solid (we call this -- ICE) is lighter than water when it's a liquid (WATER). Ice floats above water like a raft. A very thin flimsy raft. I can't stress this enough. The flimsiness. The does-not-support-your-weight-ness.

And if you step on it believing that in Baltimore County ice could EVER be frozen solid to a depth of some feet like a Canadian Circle ice fishing lake like in some adventure book for soft modern city boys about self-sufficent fur-trapping 18th Native American boys, you'd be oh so wrong.

Your cheap big-box-store un-beaverskin boots will fill with freezing water, and you'll stand there, ankle deep in a vernal pool totally unlike the Inuit you were trying to emulate, and crying. "Mom!" and I'll be like, "WTF, son?!" You don't just step willy nilly on nature's power.

Plus I'll be screeching at the top of my lungs that had the area you stepped in been unknown to me, but thank god it was known to me, because it was a private school cross-country trial,  it could have been very deep and dangerous and the number one thing they should teach you in school is to avoid UNKNOWN ICE and then, sure, fractions are important. 

I would have had to jump in after you with a thermos of brandy belted to my person like a St. Bernard. 

Remember, STEM rules.

Love,

Mom

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