It's 9:30 PM.
Me, to son: You have to go to sleep. Seriously. It's late. No more questions.
Son: Okay Mom. (nanosecond pause) Hey Mom?
Me: Can this wait until morning?
Me: Okay, what is it?
Son: How is it that water can put out fire, when fire burns grass, and grass can stand up to water?
Me: (trying not to bang head into wall)
I did explain it to him. This is something I struggle with as a parent. He says things that are so insightful, so delightfully bright, but at the wrong time. Like when he should be going to sleep. Or during class. Or while I'm explaining why he should clean his room. And I want to recognize his intelligence and revel in it a bit (because, honestly, it's really a fun part of parenting him), but at the same time I want to recognize that his timing is inappropriate. I want to foster and encourage his inquiry, but I also want him to be able to navigate and get along in a world that isn't enchanted by his intellect.
I also want him to go to sleep by 9:30 PM, because by that time, I am ready to be off the parenting clock and curling up with some ice cream and mindless TV.