This past weekend, I took the kids to my dear friend M's birthday party. Alas, S was home sick (poor guy is feeling a bit better) so it was just the three of us. Between playing with clay, drawing with chalk, blowing bubbles, and bashing in a pinata, the kids and I had a great time. And I simply have to describe a conversation for the record:
BJ was talking with M's dad, who was clearly having fun with the fact that he was talking with A Smart Six-Year-Old. He asked BJ, "What is the smallest thing there is?" BJ thought about this for a moment, then his face lit up. "Subtomatic particles!" he said (meaning "sub-atomic). Then he was asked, "What is the smallest sub-atomic particle there is?"
BJ's reply, after a moment's consideration: "The ones we haven't discovered yet."
I just had to grin -- I surely didn't expect that kind of a thoughtful answer. (Nor, for that matter, did I know that he knew about quarks -- for when the conversation continued, and he was asked about what kind of sub-atomic particles we know about, quarks was his reply.)
This kind of reply is what I mean when I say that my kid doesn't just read all sorts of stuff, which is astonishing enough -- he actually understands a heckuva lot. He's an amazing random fact generator (and will generate for almost any audience) but there's comprehension too. Such joy to watch him revel in learning, such joy to watch him thinking. Proud mama, for sure.