Tim replied in my father's stead. "That is the birth of a force fated to change the world of mankind, John," he explained, in the same way my father always described things to us kids.
I answered with a slightly drawn-out, "Cool--"
Then my father changed the subject. "Tim, I'm glad that you've finally found what you were searching for," he said, "but it is Johnny's birthday, and I brought him here on your recommendation."
"Ah, yes! I must apologize for getting distracted. It's not every day one discovers a new scientific phenomenon!"
Tim went back over to his desk. He proceeded to open a drawer and retrieved yet another notebook from it, a blue one. "Alright, kid. Are you ready to see the rest of the wonders of the galaxy?"
The remainder of the evening was spent browsing through the many pages, where notes and diagrams and observations were scribbled and etched throughout the bindings. Words and numbers translated to coordinates in the sky and the names of celestial bodies-- twinkling, sparkling, shining in that deep, black void. Planets, galaxies… stars.
My eyes were wide with amazement, and my father leaned down to whisper, “Happy birthday, Johnny.”
On the whole ride home, my head wouldn’t stop swimming through the constellations; it couldn’t. And as my father tucked me into bed and turned out the light, I swore, at the young age of six, that I would do everything, anything to know more-- much more. I closed my eyes and let the universe engulf me.