Eric and Tiffany are driving down main street of their little town with their little girl in the back seat. She’s 11 years old and has a very curious mind. She always had questions. Her questions would lead to more questions, then even more questions.
It started before she could speak. Her grandmother would pick her up and raise her to the stars. Baby Elizabeth would giggle and smile. Afterwards grandma would bring Elizabeth close to her chest whispering all the kindest most loving words a grandma could tell her grandchild. Elizabeth was transfixed on her grandmothers watch. It was very shiny, if it was held to your ear you could hear it ticking away. Grandma sat Elizabeth on the couch. She took her watch off dangled it in front of her grand daughter. Elizabeth looked at it with eye’s in amazement, mouth hung open, hands reaching out.
“She really seems to like your watch mom.” Eric said amused. “The wheels in her head turn just like the one’s in the watch. This girl is going to be someone just you wait and see.”
Once she learned to speak Elizabeth expected every mystery of life to be revealed. The problem her parents faced was they didn’t have any education nor were they well read, their parents weren’t either. Eric works at a warehouse. Tiffany works at a grocery store. They didn’t know why the sky was blue, or how airplanes flew. Let alone how their TV worked. They could set it up, but beyond that it was something they didn’t really need to know. So they just never bothered.
But now they’re faced with all these questions to which they have no idea how to answer. Eric and Tiffany wanted nothing more for this little girl to blossom into one of the smartest women on the planet and to have everything they didn’t. Eric got some over time to buy it. Under the Christmas tree all of Elizabeth’s questions would be answered.
Elizabeth’s parents are full of joy, however Elizabeth was confused. There was only one present under the tree. Her mother walked over picked it up and handed it to her. She pulled the wrapping paper off it. Elizabeth jumped on the couch to jump on her father giving him the biggest hug. He wasn’t ready for it and his knee’s buckled. Though the hug was reciprocated. Elizabeth was up all night googling things. “Why is the sky blue?” Google’s response. “Blue light is scattered in all directions by the tiny molecules of air in Earth’s atmosphere. Blue is scattered more than other colors because it travels as shorter, smaller waves. This is why we see a blue sky most of the time.”
“Why does it rain?” She types. “When the air cools it condenses around some dust or other particles in the air, called condensation nuclei. These small droplets then become visible as clouds. … As more and more droplets join together they become too heavy and fall from the cloud as rain.” Google Complies. The questions continued for two years.
Driving down this main street. Elizabeth asks. “Mom do you know how big the sun is?”
“I can’t say I do sweetie.” Her mother dismissively answers peering out the window at another dreary monsoon sky. “Dad do you…” Eric aggressively interrupts her. “Why don’t we give the tablet a rest for now.”
“Why?” Eric rolls his eyes. “Does it matter? I asked you to put it away. I had a terrible day. All I want is silence. That’s it.” Eric gets silence for about 3 minutes. “Mom can I go to Lisa’s house this weekend?”
“No not this weekend sweetheart. We have to attend grandma’s 74th birthday. She wants to see you.” Tiffany said hoping Eric wouldn’t intervene. “I can see Gran anytime.” Elizabeth snarls.
“You can see Lisa another time as well.” He mock replied. “No! I’m going.”
“Your not going and that’s final. If you keep this up you can google how to recuperate from a sore behind.” He said hoping to finalize the argument. “I wish google was my daddy at least then he wouldn’t be dumb.”
Eric Clenched his teeth. Now furious, Eric spotted a gas station. In an instant he turned into the parking lot cutting off traffic. The Mazda in the right lane slams on her brakes. A heavy set woman screams obscenities then drives off.
Eric get’s out of the car yanking open the back door. “Eric!” Tiffany cries out in protest. He unbuckles Elizabeth’s seat belt and pulls her out of the car. with tears in her eye’s she yells. “Your dumb, and I hate you!”
With an index finger aimed straight at Elizabeth as if he’s using it as an exclamation point behind everything he say’s. “Your not going to Lisa’s and I’m throwing that god damn thing in the trash! Your not smarter then anybody else Elizabeth. Just because you have all the answers at your fingertips means nothing unless you came up with them yourself, and you didn’t. You googled it. Just like every other smarmy prick who can’t make eye contact because his eye’s are latched on to that rectangle in his palm, addicted to his little digital world.”
“Let me to tell you something Elizabeth. Your right, I am dumb.” Tears form and he breaks eye contact from embarrassment. “I give you a lot of cute answers when I don’t have the real one’s. I got you that tablet because I want you to have access to the real answers that I can’t provide.” Elizabeth wipes a tear away before it rolled down her fathers face. Eric smiles at her regaining eye contact.
“One thing I can teach you is that some lessons are learned the hard way. Patience, humility, kindness. It just comes along with life. Like having a daughter who wants to break the already planned birthday party of her grandmother. Then resorts to name calling. That’ll teach you patience. Of course I didn’t exercise very much of it did I?” Elizabeth shakes her head. “Lesson learned. I’m sorry. Not everything you aspire towards will work out the way you think it will. That’s not necessarily a bad thing.” Elizabeth asks, “How is not getting something you really want a good thing.”
“For example, I worked my ass off to be promoted. Which means I’d be making two times what I’m making now. He counts his accomplishments on his fingers. “Everything’s done properly, on time, Set the bar really high for the other workers. They ended up giving the promotion to someone else who didn’t work nearly as hard.”
“How come you didn’t win if you’re better?” Elizabeth asks. Eric chuckles at the way she phrased his promotion. “They wanted a yes man. Which is someone who has no integrity or pride. They kiss butt to get what they want. See as hard I worked, I disagreed with my boss on how things should be done. They just wanted someone to push around. So sure he won without earning it, but he get’s yelled at everyday. Meanwhile I just do my job to the best of my ability and come home to you two. So really, I win.”