Family Moments

We’d been noticing the stars and my son having been alerted to the possibility that a light in the sky may be either a star or a planet, typically asks for every star whether or not it’s a planet. I drew the sun and planets for my almost-four-year-old, telling him that stars are far away suns. Then I drew our own moon, and then moons around some of the other planets, and rings around another.

It was all very interesting to him. He said that when he is like we we’ll go and look as the cosmos together. He asked how old he needs to be, and first tested ten. I said ten was about like this and held my hand to about chest level. Then he tested fifty. I said twenty would be enough – at twenty he’d be about like me.

I told him there were no people on the other planets. He asked if there were policemen (his current fascination), and I said that there were no people at all there. Then he asked if corona virus was there. I laughed and said no.


We play checkers. Long ago, Danny made some winning moves that seemed to have nothing to do with the rules of checkers. I said, “what is this, checkers or shmeckers?” It made a big impression.

Now, when we sit down we even decide whether we are playing checkers or shmeckers. Similarly, we decide between chess and smesh.


For a while Danny liked to set up his pawns on the back rank when we played chess. I’d set up his major pieces on the third row in front of my own. He’d choose them one at a time, and I’d move the piece, knight, bishop, rook, queen, or king, according to how it moves, toward it’s appropriate square. The piece then shouts at the pawn occupying its square and kicks it out.