(WARNING: Spoilers ahead.)

If you’re ever going on a business trip, and your kids are like, “But when will you be back?” make them watch Interstellar. By the time they’re done, you’ll be home.

“At least I’m not away as long as that guy.”

In a world where dirt is everywhere, Passover cleaning must be a nightmare.

On the other hand, if they misunderstand the message, they might expect you to be helping them as a ghost while you’re gone.

I went to see Interstellar, the new Christopher Nolan movie about relativity, and when I came out of the theater, I found that everyone else had aged about a day.

But what do I have to complain about? The astronauts in the movie were gone for like 90 years.

In the movie, a hardy team of astronauts and hilarious ATM machines journey into space to save mankind, even though mankind is down here, in the dirt. Literally. There’s dirt flying around everywhere. People have to set the table upside down and keep a napkin on the water pitcher, and if you fall asleep on the beach, you wake up covered in sand.

And Passover cleaning is a nightmare.

Not only that, but humanity is running out of food. There’s no more wheat, there’s no more okra, thank goodness, and all that’s left is corn.

Man was made from the dirt, and now the dirt is trying to reclaim him.

And as the astronauts go about their mission, several decades are passing outside the window, even though, to them, it feels like only a couple of days. Slightly longer, because they have to sit there for a while and listen to Anne Hathaway explain how love works.

The time phenomenon happens because of relativity. Interstellar is incredibly realistic in its scientific phenomena, such as wormholes, black holes, and the phenomena that if you have three options, the correct one will always be the last one you pick.

But the biggest focus of the movie seems to be relativity, which says that the more gravity there is, the slower times moves. This explains why, ever since gravity has become a bigger issue in my life, time has been flying by really fast. I remember my kids’ toddler years like it was yesterday, but to them, it was a lifetime ago.

When you’re a kid, time drags on forever, and a single day of school takes at least a year. Meanwhile, the parents are like, “What? You’re home from school already? I haven’t even had my coffee yet!”

The only time that time slows down for me is when I’m doing homework with my kids for several hours a night. It takes everything I have not to just pick up a pen and get the whole thing done in under five minutes. It is literally the slowest part of my day.

In fact, when NASA picks people for this mission, they specifically choose people who have no familial attachments back home – no one whose lives they would miss if they took too long up in space. No one to affect their decisions. Well, except for Cooper (Matthew McConaughey). Cooper, the main character, has a daughter named Murph. Whose last name is also Cooper, obviously. But Cooper’s first name is Cooper too, or at least I think it is, because no one ever uses his other name.

Anyway, Cooper used to be a pilot, but is now a single father, left alone to raise his kids and change their diapers, which you might not think is a big deal, but that’s because you’re forgetting that all they’re eating is corn. Through a series of unnecessarily complicated events, he stumbles onto NASA’s underground base, which sounds like an oxymoron, and NASA’s like, “Hey, what a coincidence! You’re just the guy we were praying for!”

So now Cooper has to go up to space and… something. There are a few possibilities as to what the actual mission is. It might be to find a safe planet so that all of mankind can get onto a space ark, two by two, and join him, or it might be to set up camp, forget about the people at home, thaw out the embryos in the spaceship’s freezer, and raise thousands of babies on an alien landscape, which sounds maybe worse than dying on earth. So Option A is obviously better, except that the NASA scientists have no idea how to get an ark that big in the air, which is a problem, because, you know, gravity. At least Noah had the water to help him.

Either way, Cooper has to hurry, because no one on earth is getting any younger. In fact, if Cooper doesn’t get back from his mission in time, his kids will grow old and die. And while, to NASA, this sounds like a weakness to have in an astronaut – after all, relativity is more of an issue if you actually have relatives – it’s actually what motivates him to find a way for Option A to work. Ultimately, it was his need to get back to his daughter that pulled him through the black hole and into the kaleidoscopic nightmare behind the bookcase of her childhood bedroom so he could drop Morse code formulas into her watch to save humanity.

(If you didn’t understand that sentence, don’t worry. No one who saw the movie did either.)

God is always with us, waving at us from behind the books, sending us signs.

The thing is, though, that until that point, Cooper’s daughter resents him for leaving. This dusty old planet is the only world she ever knew, and she doesn’t understand the, um, gravity of the situation. Until he sends her the formula, anyway.

This, too, is a common phenomenon, scientifically. A lot of kids resent their parents for doing things “for their own good”.

“You’ll thank me later,” the parent says.

Later? To a kid, later is forever. But that’s all relativity. It took years for Murph to realize that her father left to save mankind. But to him, it seemed like about three hours.

Parents do lots of things like that. You give your kid a bedtime or limit the amount of time he can spend on his phone. You’re doing it for his good, obviously. And it’s not the end of the world. When you were his age, you didn’t even have a phone. But he resents you. It’s not until later in life that he realizes that any “hardships” you put him through – and those are “hardships” in quotation marks – made him into a better person.

I can do my kids’ entire homework in under five minutes. So why do I make them do it? How efficient is that? Why do I put them through this hardship of having to do it themselves when they’re obviously not good at it?

As a parent, your hope is that your kids will eventually grow up and understand why you had to do the things you did. They might resent you now, but if you do a good job, they’ll understand you before you know it. Though for them, it will be years.

Eventually, they come to realize that just because you don’t understand what your parent is doing doesn’t mean he’s not doing it for your own good. Most of the time when our parents are ON our backs, it’s because they HAVE our backs.

The best example here is probably soldiers, who leave their children’s world for months at a time. And their big hope is that if they do what they left to do, then when they come home, their kid will still not understand why they had to go. That’s the hope. Best case scenario, nothing disastrous happens, and the kid has no idea he even needed protecting. “But then,” he wonders, “why did Dad have to leave?”

Of course, we have the same relationship with God. God is our parent. As the rabbis say, a thousand years to us are like a day to him. He knows we’ll get it eventually, and he has all the time in the world. Instead of focusing on, “Where is he when we need him?” and “Why isn’t he here?” we have to realize that he’s here all along, waving at us from behind the books and sending us signs. If we see those signs, we could do the rest of the work ourselves.

A good parent knows that what’s best for a kid isn’t necessarily the thing that he wants. The toughest part is letting him figure it out on his own. It might take time, but that’s not the end of the world.