I sent my son Kyle an email last week with a link to a CNN article about the
scientists at CERN laboratory in Switzerland who had created antimatter.
(Here's the link:CNNWorld-Scientists Capture Antimatter Atoms ) I knew he'd be interested in seeing it,
because for the last year or so he's said he wants to work for CERN as a
nuclear engineer when he grows up.
Yeah, I know. But he's
never been the kid who aspired to be an astronaut or cowboy.
Kyle's interest in antimatter is our fault, I'm afraid. The downside of parents who forced their children to sit through far too many episodes of Star Trek. The original series, The Next Generation, the series that came after that but which wasn't as good, all the movies. I supposed we should just be grateful he isn't trying to apply to Starfleet Academy. And Dan Brown needs to take his share of the blame, too, since Kyle read his antimatter-involved novel, "Angels and Demons," about forty times.
About halfway through typing out my email to Kyle--and here's where I get to my point, finally--it occurred to me what I was doing is the 2010 version of clipping an article and mailing it to and/or saving it for my child.
I had become my mother. Again.
Already, my son only thirteen years old, and I was sending him articles. How long before I slid completely down this slippery slope? How long before I would be emailing him links about some girl he grew up with that he no longer remembered but whom had just placed fourth in some beauty contest? About a neighbor he never met who was running for Alderman? Oh, I knew it wouldn't be long before I'd be sending him articles about the company he worked for that I'd pulled from our local paper, full of factual inaccuracies and information he'd already known months before!
"Just thought you'd like to see this, dear," my email subject line would say.
I fought off the urge to send him a link to a good therapist.
Of course I asked him later if he received my email. Did you read the link?
Oh, here we go again, I thought. But Kyle was gracious, probably more so than I've often been with my mother on this front. He thanked me and said he hadn't heard the antimatter news. He thought it was cool and certainly hoped the CERN scientists didn't accidentally obliterate this side of our galaxy by turning it into a big black hole.
It wouldn't matter, I suppose, to have a majority of my "article" emails end up in the black hole of the adult Kyle's spam folder, because at least he'll know I'm thinking about him and I'm interested in his life and that I wish he and his awful wife would come visit once in a while. And if he ever does appreciate anything I manage to send him, well then, that would be just like antimatter icing on my dilithium crystal cake.