I was driving my granddaughter home, about !5 Km from my small town to her smaller town. We crossed a large bridge that went over the railroad tracks just outside of town, and another smaller bridge over the creek as we entered the town limits.
Old enough, and tall enough to be able to sit in the front seat, she seems to notice much more along the drive.
Her question was why they have those stripes on the bridges, that make a bump. I had to think for a minute before I could reply. They're bands that go across the bridge to allow it to expand and contract with the change in the weather. Without them, I said, the bridge would buckle and cause problems.
Then she wanted to know about the bumps on the road. I explained that the roads get damaged every winter, how much and how badly depends on the kind of winter we have. Things like an early frost, a very cold sustained winter, or lots of freeze/thaw type weather.
I showed her the bumps on the road, where the road had buckled, and where the roads department were filling in the cracks, adding more pavement where needed. We could see the wiggly lines where the cracks had been filled, looking like long black snakes on the road.
Her opinion was the repairs would look better if they were done in the same color. "I suppose," I answered. "But give it time, and it will all match."
I love these questions, they make me think, and I love the natural curiosity of children.