Max has always been fascinated by the light and he’s fairly sensitive to it. He loves anything that shines, glows, shimmers, glistens, twinkles, sparkles, glares, blinks or flashes - and, like daddy, he sneezes a couple of times when taken outside on a bright sunny morning. So today must have been one of the happiest days of his little existence: today was the day of the Blue Light.

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Close Encounters of the First Kind: Sighting
Close Encounters of the First Kind: Sighting

 

Close Encounters of the Second Kind:Physical Evidence
Close Encounters of the Second Kind:Physical Evidence

 

Close Encounters of the Third Kind: Contact
Close Encounters of the Third Kind: Contact

 

Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind: Love
Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind: Love

 

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I’ve got some bad news, my friends, for those of you who believe that after the human race pillages and pollutes our home planet to death, that we’ll be able to miraculously venture into the Galaxy looking for other Massalias to plant our brassicas. I’m sorry to say it just isn’t so.

I am the MASTER of the Universe!
I am the MASTER of the Universe!

Let’s look at it like this: If the Sun was the size of an orange, the Earth would be a tiny bread crumb floating 20 meters away (20 yards). Try it in your backyard, it’s very telling. Now imagine the light traveling from the Sun to the Earth takes 8 minutes, which it does. That’s 20 meters in 8 minutes which means that at that scale, light would travel through your backyard at the speed of a dung beetle! (whose speed is demonstrated here by Manu crawling across the carpet).

It’s easy to fathom the Earth at 20 meters from the Sun. Now, still at this scale, how far do you think the nearest stars from us would be? A few kilometers maybe? Nope. A few state lines over? Nope.

The nearest stars would be 6,000 miles (10,000 kilometers) away… more than the distance from San Francisco to Paris!

Can I eat the Dung Beetle, daddy?
Can I eat the Dung Beetle, daddy?

So if the Sun was the size of an orange, its nearest neighbors would be like a handful of cherry tomatoes and a few Halloween pumpkins floating about in random directions 10,000 kilometers away. How long do you think it would take that poor dung beetle to crawl from San Francisco to Paris?

On our journey to find ourselves another home in the Universe, we already know that our neighboring stars can’t harbor any planet that could support life, so we would have to explore further, much further, maybe even the entire Galaxy. How big would our Galaxy be at that scale? Let’s say that if the Sun and the Earth could fit into a cozy backyard here in San Francisco, the nearest star would be in Paris and the rest of the Galaxy would stretch over 130 million kilometers — almost the distance to the Sun!

So here we are: for us to explore the Galaxy at the speed of light, it would be like a dung beetle crawling through a piece of land as wide as the Solar System between the Sun and the Earth. Good luck finding something, Mr Beetle! And we don’t even travel at the speed of light yet: our hypothetical Mr Lightspeed Dung Beetle is still 20,000 faster than our fastest rockets.

See the task at hand? Sorry folks, no dreamin’, we’re stuck on good old Earth!

Don’t worry, daddy, I’ll follow the Dung Beetle all the way across the Galaxy
Don’t worry, daddy, I’ll follow the Dung Beetle all the way across the Galaxy

 

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Pius, Pierre, Max, Manu & I, we don’t get out much but when we do, we love that people routinely comment on how aware Max is, and on Manu’s spirited determination. Once, a dainty lady in a boutique even claimed: “I feel a spiritual connection with your son. I think we’ve know one another“. Okaaaay. All that, but never has anyone said our kiddos look like someone famous. And that’s a good thing…

 
Gerber baby all growed up
Gerber baby all growed up

In movie star land, this can be especially touchy.
I’m sure there are people who find Peter Lorre interesting looking, and he does kind of have that baby-esque big head thing going, but hopefully no one makes such a comparison when the child’s mother has sharp objects within her reach.

 

 

A parent’s worst nightmare
A parent’s worst nightmare

With politicians, the slope gets even slipperier. Especially in these times. I mean, you remember that guy right? Yeah, him. I mean, what if? What if it really were true, and you tried to deny it until someone eventually stops you on the street & makes it all real. “Hey, did you notice, your child looks just like Geor…”

 

Maybe a real human isn’t involved at all, as a well-meaning pal lovingly praises, “You know, your baby has a face like that cute little alien ET in that cute little movie”. Before tears, strangulation and the turrets strike, smile knowingly that at least baby doesnt bear resemble to that precious other fellow.

Love thy Precious
Love thy Precious
 

 

Finally, the temptation to project cute little animals onto baby isn’t advisable either. Rover may be cute and it’s true, he may look just like your best friend’s baby, but do your self a favor; extend your life and your relationship a few years longer and bite your tongue — even if it bleeds.

Everything reminds me of my dog.
Everything reminds me of my dog.
 

 

At 2.5 pounds at birth, we’re exceptionally lucky that Monsieur Max and Mademoiselle Manu are as healthy as they are. That they’re such a treat to lay our eyes on is the cherry on top. But even if they did look a little funny, we’d love them all the same!
 
The eyes are a sense far too overused in matters of sizing up one’s character.
I hope we are able to teach our kiddos different.
 
* Some images from “The Poop” parenting website.