Wednesday, October 26, 2011

theory of many worlds

as a parent of a 1st grader i am closer to acknowledging that the theory of many worlds as it is explained by a branch of theoretical quantum mechanics might indeed be a fact. many worlds posits that there are many universes, all run parallel to each other, without interaction between the universes. in this theory there are many me's, each to his own universe, and every decision i make, every corner i turn, every possibility i encounter, are all played out by one of the me's. for example, if i decide to call in sick at work one day there is another me in another universe that does not. if i have a close call while driving there is another me that dies as a result of the accident. and so on and so forth.

of course i'm simplifying. theoretical physics is way above my head. yet as a parent i am acutely that there are two parallel 'doms' that run simultaneously beside each other but do not cross over. those 'doms' are kiddom and adultdom. all adults experienced kiddom and all kids will grow into adultdom. as an adult we may remember what it was like to be in kiddom but it is an experience that we, as adults, tend to mollify and gloss over as we grow older.

stay with me. because today was the halloween carnival held at nick's school. for the parents the carnival was something where we took our children to play. it was, in short, a ho-hum affair. amusing, yes. fun, sure. it was nothing like what the children got out of it. for them there was dramas galore. great pleasures to be had, and disappointments to endure. the kids all had their own language. their own body movement. their own pecking orders.

i recall my own time in kiddom, but i do not recall it as acutely as when i was watching these kids behave as if there were no adults present. it was a society unto itself. hard to explain unless you are a social scientist, i suppose, but ripe for observation and comment. kiddom is quite unlike adultdom. kiddom is not unlike the theory of many worlds because rarely do kiddom and adultdom meet. unless it is in fiction.

not that i felt the odd man out. i did notice that the kids would acknowledge my being among them. but that acknowledgement was brief and usually done for a purpose, such as being asked if i was standing in a line for an activity they also wanted to do. i am not saying that kids and adults do not interact. of course they do. nick and i had a blast at the carnival. however, kids left to themselves became another thing, another society. it was strange to witness. and thrilling too. i can recall, some of it, the language of kiddom especially when i am thrust into kiddom such as at an event like today's carnival. yet when i think of that kid i once was my memories become fuzzy and vague. like as if i were once a character in a film that i can only recall by watching a few frames without any sound. i do remember reading the script. i just don't remember quite the content. i'm not talking about the cliche being young at heart, or missing my youth. not at all. i mean the parallel world of kiddom. all i can say is that i was there. once. a long time ago.


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