Traveling to Tomorrow


Daniel and I were driving back from Chicago.  We had left Aunt Amy’s late and now it was just past midnight.  Daniel looked at the clock and smiled.

“Look, Dad,” he said, “it’s tomorrow!”  I smiled, but shook my head.

“No, it’s today.  It’s always today.” I replied.  Daniel furrowed his brow and looked back at the clock.

“But it’s past midnight,” he said.  “Tomorrow starts at midnight.”

I said, “A day starts at midnight -”

“Tomorrow!”

“No,” I said, “tomorrow is just a word that means the day after today.”

“But it was Saturday when we went to Chicago,” said Daniel, yawning.  I nodded.  “And now it’s Sunday.  It’s tomorrow.”

“Saturday and Sunday are the names of actual days,” I explained.  “Today and tomorrow are descriptions.”

“You mean adjectives,” corrected Daniel.  Touché.

I continued, “The word today means the day it is right now.  So on Saturdays, today is Saturday and when it becomes Sunday, today automatically changes to Sunday.  It’s the same thing with tomorrow.  It just means the day after today.  At midnight, when today shifts to the new day, tomorrow also shifts.  So, it’s never tomorrow, always today. ” 

I was pretty satisfied with the answer and the argument did end there… mostly because – by then – Daniel has fallen asleep in his seat.

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