I love science, I always have. I can remember as a little kid sitting glued to the television watching episodes of Nova or Carl Sagan’s, Cosmos, or reading works by Asimov, Bradbury, Clarke, and being enthralled with the notion of exploration, discovery, and observation. Then, anything was possible.
Like so many others though, as I got older I drifted away from science, or rather, what the playwright George Bernard Shaw once fondly wrote is the venture that “never solves a problem without creating ten more.” Sadly, perhaps that’s the commentary of adulthood, the limits of time, space and attention subjecting the study of science to the status of just one more mind-boggling, homework-laden course the kids were taking in school. And the years went by.
Strangely enough, in the months leading up to Lia’s diagnosis for type 1 diabetes I was enjoying a resurgence of interest in science, brought on perhaps by my reading of the book by Bill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything, or more likely a result of my writing and a literary desire to be accurate and precise with details (it sounds better anyway, than just saying I wanted to know the answer the next time one of my kids asked me a question about the relationship between particle movement and temperature. Still not sure I could explain that one).
Either way, as a writer and now as a father of a child with a chronic illness, I spend a good bit of time reading books and browsing journals with a dedicated science flavor to them. Some I come across go over my head and it’s those presenters and authors who, like Sagan, have a talent for bringing the topic alive and in terms I can understand that bring me the most benefit and also the most pleasure.
But the wheres and whys and how-comes and this-and-thats of diabetes take my interest in a science to a new, intriguing level, where it’s not just for enjoyment or enlightenment that I read and follow the research surrounding the treatment, prevention and cure. It has in our home a real and hopeful application.
Science and a real world connection. Envy, indeed. Granted, there’s more that a father might wish, but what more could a little boy ask for?