What a surprise: it’s a beautiful day out, and I find you kids indoors. Nope, you’re not gonna spend another minute cooped up in the house. Get your butts outside and play! I don’t care if it’s a game of touch football, or a bike ride, or if you just play around at the foot of the monolith in our backyard. Just go get some fresh air!

Look what you’ve done, I’m sounding like my old man! I guess some things never change. When I was a kid, it was NBA Jam, now it’s the Internet, or Angry Birds, or who-knows-what these days. The point is: you’re kids. You should be outdoors getting messy, climbing trees, running around the towering black slab of alien metal we unearthed late the other night in a feverish haze. You can pause your video games, you can’t pause your childhoods! Neither can you pause the buzzing hum of the monolith. It beckons you. It beckons us all.

Oh, you got homework to do too? Hey, at the risk of sounding irresponsible, just forget it. Daylight is burning, you can do your homework later. Give your mind a break and let the 1 ft by 4 ft by 9 ft foot monolith take over. No, I didn’t measure it, I’ve just intuited those measurements from being in its presence. And, I’m pretty sure it exists in other dimensions that are beyond our comprehension. But for now, just play at the part of the monolith that’s in our physical reality, over where we used to keep the compost bin.

Some of the best times I had as a kid were doing simple things, like jumping in a leaf pile. Rake some leaves into a mound, jump into it, then repeat. You get bored with that, then maybe you can dig out the monolith some more, and stare into its sleek black surface and see the edge of the universe. Let visions of stars wash over you as you skip across the very fabric of existence and experience every moment in time occurring at once, as one unlimited forever and always. And don’t forget your jackets.

I tell ya, when my friends and I had free time, we didn’t waste it with our butts on the couch! We were outside until the streetlights came on, and we didn’t even have a monolith that would steer humanity to a new level of consciousness. Closest thing we had was my friend Derek’s above ground pool, but that thing was scuzzy and didn’t have an equivalent that’s buried on the moon. You kids don’t know how lucky you have it!

C’mon, be kids! Don’t squander your childhood. In a way, the human race itself is about to pass from its own childhood: the discovery of this monolith next to our shed is signaling to the super-intelligent beings that put it there that our species is ready to advance to the next step in our evolution. Maybe it’s just these thoughts in my head that don’t belong to me, or maybe it’s nostalgia, but I think you should take advantage of your youth. Enjoy this time of your life, and the monolith, while you can because it doesn’t last forever. Besides, your mother and I have been talking about putting in a Jacuzzi back there, so we might have to get rid of the monolith by next summer.