RB heard his first thunder and saw his first lightning. I started to explain what it was to him, got three words in and realised that beyond ‘loud bang and bright light’ I didn’t have a scooby. How would you describe thunder and lightning to a child? Google? Exactly!
Now I know that lightning is formed when ice particles in clouds knock each other and create energy. The flash of lightening happens when positive and negative energy meet – this can be within the same cloud, different clouds or between the cloud and earth.
When the strip of lightning appears, a hole is formed in the air, called a channel. Once the lightning has flashed the air collapses in on itself and causes a bang. Or thunder. These happen pretty simultaneously, but because light travels faster than sound we see the lightning first. This difference in the speed of light and sound is why we can gauge how close the lightning is by the difference between the flash and bang.
Interesting, huh? All this stuff that people tried to force us to learn at school is pretty fascinating, when you’re an adult. Hopefully, I can encourage RB to embrace learning and going to school, and maximise every opportunity, as a child. His dad and I have already started to consider his schools as we think education is the most fundamental thing we can give him (beyond a loving, accepting and supportive home). Though I guess all, if not most, parents think that. At least if he insists on making my mistakes, and blows ungrateful raspberries in the face of opportunity, at least I can try and learn, second time around. Then maybe one day he’ll have kids of his own and he’ll get a second chance, too.