L. got a cool NASA calendar for Christmas. But, when it came time for me to sit down and update our family calendar, I realized that we didn't have a new 2012 one. We keep our family calendar hanging in the kitchen, where we can all see it, and add/amend it as needed. I went on a search for a new 2012 calendar, and found L.'s NASA one buried under some books on top of his dresser.
"Hey L.," I said. "Would it be okay if we used your NASA calendar as our family calendar?
"Sure!" L. said generously.
Before hanging it up, I flipped through the pages to see the photos. I thought about the blank expanse of months; the square, white blocks of space that would, increasingly, be filled up with events, appointments, reminders, teacher workdays, in the days, weeks, and months to come.
When I got to December I stopped.
Someone--L.--had already written something in the block for the 21st. My heart did a flip-flop when I saw it.
The End of the World.
I don't know how to convince L. that it won't happen; that the world won't come grinding (or exploding) to an end on that day, at some particular hour. For every fact I offer, L. has a counter-fact; for every science-based website I send his way, he finds another discrediting it. The world won't end in 2012, I tell him, over and over again. At least, I hope it won't. But if it does, just look at that great expanse of time we have: months and months of neat, square blocks to fill.