Looking up, and down, on dad

“Her father had been found but he had not made everything all right. Instead everything was worse than ever, and her adored father was bearded and thin and white and not omnipotent after all” – A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L’Engle

I was reading this story to my son last night and we came across this passage. I stopped, as I often do, to check that my son was listening and understood what was happening. This happens regularly since he likes to play his keyboard (with the power off) and claims he can play the music and still listen.

Me: “Do you know what omnipotent means?”

Him: “No” (he reads so many books about Percy Jackson style gods and warriors I thought maybe he might have been confused by it before)

Me: “Well, what about breaking it down? Start with ‘omni’ – like in omnivorous”

Him: “Ah, everything!”

Me: “Yes! Well done! OK, now ‘potent’? Think, maybe about ‘potential'” (I was struggling myself)

Him: (stops playing and gives me a strange look)

Me: “OK, well, it comes from the Latin for power. So … ”

Him: “Power over everything?”

Me: “Yes! Or all-powerful. Like those gods in your books who can do anything they want. So, she’s realising that having rescued her dad, he’s not able to fix things for her. That her dad is not the all powerful person she might have thought he was when she was growing up.”

Him: (still playing his keyboard, in a serious voice) “Ah! Well, I never thought that about you!”



1 Comment
  • Ryan Opaz
    May 29, 2017

    Love this…and dreading the day I hear the same words. 🙂