So the Peeper wanted to sleep out on the living room sofa. I made him a cozy nest on the big down couch, tucked him in, kissed him goodnight and went back to shove some wood filler in the uglier of the out-of-plumb gaps in the window mouldings. In less than two minutes I heard crying from the living room.
"I had a bad dream" announces the Peeper as I entered, wiping wood filler of my fingers.
"Peep,you haven't even been to sleep yet..." I replied, sitting on the couch next to him. That layed him a dead stymie.
"Well...I had a scary thought in my head and I couldn't get it out."
Well, that's different. So I cuddled him and we talked about scary stuff and how the daylight is nice but the dark changes stuff and makes it scary. I showed him the tree outside that was the same, and the cars were the same, and the houses. He said that trees grow and change, they start out little and change and grow. I reminded him that that was over years, not one night.
He was okay with that.
Then he struck out on a completely unexpected tangent. "What happened before there was anything? When there was nothing, before everything was made?" I said I wasn't sure, that there were lots of different ideas, but that lots of really smart people thought that there was this time when everything was all together in one tiny place, and then, in an instant, it rushed outwards like the hyperspace in Star Wars (Note: parents will recognize this as the "find a kid hook to hang your concept on" strategy) and all the universe and the galaxies and stars and planets started.
He thought about this for a little.
"I really want to know about that stuff, I think about it a lot." he said, "I really think about what was there before everything and how everything is."
I agreed that that was something to know about, and that he could learn a lot about it and think about it and he might be the one to find out the answer.
"I think only one person knows everything, maybe two." he announced, a little sleepily.
"I think maybe Santa Claus." he yawned, "And God."
"Goodnight, Peeper." I kissed his soft, little-boy-smelling hair.
"G'night, Dada." he said, snuggling down into his blankets.
And I turned down the light.