As our time in Australia nears its end, there remains one frontier of cultural understanding that we haven't explored. As much as we may feel at home in this country, we are completely in the dark when it comes to Australian sports.
So Elias and I pushed back the veil of our ignorance, just a little bit, by attending the third day of the current cricket test match this weekend - Australia vs. Sri Lanka.
And - I enjoyed the game. Two Sri Lankans were batting the entire time we were there - the Aussies couldn't get them out - and I appreciated the stately pace of the match as the day went on.
All that - plus there was face painting.
Elias wore his new Australian Cricket singlet to bed that night.
Meanwhile, it hasn't escaped our notice that the children killed in Connecticut were Elias' age.
Looking across the Australian/American divide, I can say that things don't have to be that way in America. Gun control works. My kid's school in Tasmania doesn't have to practice for mass-shooting incidents the way that American schools do.
The politics of saturating American civil life with guns, like so many of the dark/angry aspects of right-wing politics in America, is a relatively recent phenomenon, dating to the civil rights movement. Fifty years ago, the NRA was focused on gun safety, and the idea that anyone should be able to own a semi-automatic assault rifle with a large-capacity magazine was completely foreign to American political discourse.
So, this too, will change. The pendulum will swing. It will take a generation, and many many more six-year-old children will be shot and killed before change comes, but eventually we will make things better in America.