Sunday, September 6, 2015

Thar She Blows

Probably because of early exposure to the concept through Dora the Explorer, Raphaela has a fascination/fear with the phenomenon of volcanoes.  She has asked the question more times than I can count, "Do we or anyone we love live near an active volcano?" In response I found a current map of active volcanoes online, printed it out for her, and we reference it often.

To our friends in Singapore, she asked me to write them an email, clarifying the issue, to which they graciously responded, "We do not live near an active volcano.  Don't worry Raphaela, we will stay safe."

While I have not ridiculed her mild obsession, I try to down play the potential ripple;  I want Raphaela living in joy in the present, not worrying about what natural disasters could afflict us in the future.  Living in Israel, the life-and-death cloud hangs over us, a constant reminder that we are surrounded by 22 Arab states that want to wipe us off the map. My daughter doesn't need another potential enemy from Mother Nature or the Mayan Armageddon.

However, the teacher has become the student.

Yesterday I had a new patient, a visiting scientist from southern Italy.  In the process of the medical intake interview, I found this question slipping out of my mouth:  "Do you live near an active volcano?" (According to our volcano map, Italy is chock full of potential lava danger.)

I know that Raphaela would have been proud of me in that moment.

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