When I was young I had a little wooden box full of microscope slides. Each slide had a tiny yellowing handwritten label describing what was on the slide: a spider leg, a thin sliver of onion, that kind of thing. I used to spend hours with my eye glued to the microscope, looking in amazement at whatever slide is chosen. (Yes, I was a nerd. Still am.)
Imagine my excitement, then, when Isaac unwrapped a microscope from his grandparents on Christmas morning. In fact, I’ll describe it to you: you know that bit in Elf where the store supervisor dude says Santa is coming and Buddy starts yelling? It was like that, although I was yelling ‘microscope’ instead of ‘Santa’.
Hours of father-son bonding fun, I thought, as I shoved Isaac out of the way and started setting the microscope up. After looking at the preprepared slide of an insect wing I started frantically looking around for things to zoom in on.
In my haste I plucked a beard hair from my chin; turns out hair don’t look much different close up. I even reopened an old cut and bled onto a blank slide so I could show Isaac the wonders of biology. That’s right: I was enjoying this microscope so much I BLED for it.
In my excitement I failed to notice that Isaac wasn’t as enthusiastic as I was. He would look through the viewfinder, knocking the slide in the process, and I’d turn into a grumpy old man and shoulder him out of the way so I could rectify it. In the end, he left me gleefully zooming in on a tiny bit of dust to play songs on his iPod.
I think I may have ruined it for him. Does that mean the microscope is technically mine now? Perhaps I can use it to try and find my parenting skills…