The Joy of Discovery : an interview with Lynn Brunelle

LynnBrunelle_004Roost Books: Your new book chronicles how you, a self-proclaimed geek mom, get through the challenges of parenting by turning to the logic of science. What do you hope parents take away from your stories?

Lynn Brunelle: That we’re all doing our best and things come up. Parenting is a great challenge. Laugh if you can and let it change you. Let it tweak the lens a little bit. But look into the hard stuff—the stuff that makes you squirm and look deep. There are goodies in the muck!
RB: The subjects of science and parenting seem really far apart. Do they really mix?
LB:To me they are enthusiastically yoked together. It’s such a lovely perspective to glance through and stare through. Parenting is all about science. Because honestly, science is about observing, asking questions, solving problems, making mistakes, and trying again and again. How is that NOT being a parent?
RB: You describe a lot of ways you bring science into family traditions, from making quicksand for Halloween play to creating paper snowflakes every Christmas. Do you have a favorite science tradition?
LB: The game is always changing, and one thing I learn over and over is to be open and roll with it. So, traditions meld over time. I do love the six-sided paper snowfl akes storm that my husband and I make every year for the boys on Christmas Eve so they’ll have snow when they wake up. My kids love the fi re-and-ice play at campouts, where they can melt the dickens out of a marshmallow and then turn around and make ice cream in a baggie. New traditions pop up—recently they’ve been loving exploding water balloons. The trick is to always be open
to new ideas!
RB: You obviously LOVE science. What do you say to adults who don’t share your zeal? What do you say to kids?
LB: People who don’t like science probably don’t like how they were taught science when they were little. The world is such an amazing place, and everything around us is dazzling if you really look at it. How a cut heals is magical! Optical illusions are amazing. When you add heat, why does chocolate melt and eggs harden? For anyone who has ever wondered “Why?” and “How?” there is science zeal to be discovered!
RB: Has being a parent changed your relationship to science?

LB: Being a parent has changed everything! Anything that gets you out of your own head and your own perspective solely is life changing. Has it changed how I see science? Yes. I have leaned on science like you do an old friend who never lets you down. It astounds me and makes me wonder more and more.


Lynn Brunelle is the author of Mama Gone Geek: Calling on my Inner Science Nerd to Help Navigate the Ups and Downs of Parenthood.