Monday, January 4, 2016

Science and Other Messy Things

Today, in the precious waking hours between my post-work nap and my pre-work prep, I oversaw a school science project. Under my able (well, serviceable) tutelage, two middle schoolers investigated the durability of balloons under the influence of heat and with the effects of oil and soap and soda.

Sound messy? Oh, it was. I spent almost as long wiping up oil and soap and soda as they spent collecting data, and I suspect I will be discovering pieces of balloon in my kitchen for quite a while. Will the science done win a Nobel Prize, or even the science fair? Unlikely. But as I look back on the experiments, and as I look forward to the days of finding pieces of balloon, I can't help but be glad I was there. Often we hand off the jobs that will be challenging, or out of our comfort zone, or, well, messy. But when we embrace those things--when we involve ourselves enough to forget about the messiness of it all--we walk away with stories to tell and laughter to remember. When we step out of our comfort zone, we let ourselves step into places we might never have gone. Today, that was to a kitchen full of oily, soapy, sugary balloons. I wonder what tomorrow's mess will be...

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