I’ve been calling my wife Mrs. H online lately to honor her request for anonymity. I mentioned that to her the other night and she said, “ah yes, I’m Mrs. HiggsBoson”. I love being married to someone crazy about science.
Anyway, we were sitting around the table the other night and my daughter asked us if we were 100% sure about something (I can’t remember the topic). At the same time both HiggsBoson and myself quickly said that there is very little we can be 100% sure of. Here’s some of the dialogue:
Daughter: Is there anything we can be 100% sure of?
HiggsBoson: Some things, like I am 100% sure you are my daughter.
Howie: Ah, but what if one of us is just a brain in a vat?
HiggsBoson: Oh quit it with the crazy philosophy stuff will you? [while my wife loves science, she isn’t a huge fan of philosophy].
Howie: The kids know what I’m talking about.
Son: What’s a brain in a vat?
Howie: That’s the idea that your body doesn’t exist, but that all of your thoughts are just generated by a brain in a jar somewhere.
Son: Oh yeah, I’ve thought of that before.
Daughter: me too!
Both of our kids seem to share my interest in deep life questions (especially my son). My wish is for them to never go through the pain that I went through in my search for answers. Right now they remind me of how I was when I was young – a time where thinking about those things was just plain fun! I’m glad I decided to return to that perspective. Our children will know that the unknown is not worth the worry. They will also grow up knowing that their mom and I don’t worry about some invisible mind somewhere that gets offended if we don’t see the need to search for it. And most importantly, they will know that if they end up finding the concept of a deity comforting to them that we will still love them exactly the same even though we don’t see things the same way.
Dear HiggsBoson: Thank you for keeping some balance in our family and for keeping your 3 philosophers from going to crazy town. I’m so glad philosophy doesn’t float your boat, because we desperately need that balance in our family. And I’m also glad we met after I was done with my stint with religion and also done with my desperate searching period, because if we had met before that we likely wouldn’t be together. And that would have been a crying shame since we fit together like 2 puzzle pieces (oh, and by the way, thanks for the huge jigsaw puzzle you guys gave me on my birthday – I’m enjoying it quite a bit). Have a great Mother’s Day!
And to all my readers who are mothers: I hope you have a great Mothers Day. Maybe you’ll find the following video as heartwarming as HiggsBoson and I found it: