We were discussing the periodic table at dinner last night because … well, doesn’t everyone discuss the elements at dinner? It was just the boys and me at the table—J was off doing whatever thespians do on opening night. The conversation started with, “Let’s see how many elements we can name that start with the letter….” It might have been a fun game when I was in high school and actually remembered the elements; but I’m resourceful, so I was making them up.
I made up elements that included the names of our cats (Potonium). I made up elements after some random foods (Maltedmilkballium). And I made some with names that were just plain silly (Phantomite), but elemental, nonetheless.
The boys were getting bored with my silliness (interesting role reversal), so they decided to switch it up. “Let’s name the elements in order,” W challenged his brother. “Hydrogen.”
“Helium!” I shot in before anyone else could. I knew it was the only one I had a chance of getting right.
“Lithium,” C added to the game.
“Beryllium,” W continued, and they both seemed to wait for me to jump in. Nope. I got nothing.
“Boron,” C guessed.
“If you took regular chem, this would be a piece of cake,” I told him. He looked offended. “No,” I back-pedaled. “You would have had to memorize the periodic table. I memorized it when I took chemistry.” Of course, I only took two years of science in high school because there was ART, after all.
“Yeah Mom, but that was back when the periodic table only had five elements,” W informed me. Ow.
Yes, to my children, I am “old,” and they love to tease me about it. And someday, they will be “old” to their children, as well. It’s the circle of life. One day, when W is talking about the periodic table of elements at his dinner table, the circle of life will come full circle, and I will be the one laughing.