Children are our mirrors. They often reflect our deep-seated beliefs and fears and can teach us who we are.
Today is Easter Sunday. Our boy drags my husband and me out of bed at 5:50 because it was “too exciting to sleep.” We explore the house and discover half eaten carrots and a purple basket filled with dinosaurs, knickknacks and chocolate. The frenzy subsides and we find ourselves in a quiet moment sharing our coffee and chocolate milk on the couch. I asked him “Are you happy with your Easter basket?” “Yeah,” he sighed.
But, he doesn’t seem happy; he seems exasperated. I ask him why he answered that way, and he responds “Because, you keep asking.”
He showed me that I was not present in this moment. I was dredging up my own childhood stories, joyful and sorrowful, and serving them to him in a purple, confetti-filled basket.
I learn a lot from the things my boy says. I am a student of his unjaded awareness. I admire his perceptions, the way he expresses his thoughts with his very grownup words, and every day, he makes me laugh.
One afternoon, while suspending colorful, home-made planets from the ceiling, he turned to me and said: “Mom, make sure you put the sun in the middle because the planets move around the sun…and also Mom, where is Fresno?” The word Fresno coming out of my four year old’s mouth made me laugh. He has never even been to California. I shared it on my facebook page and recieved so many comments from my friends and family, that from time to time I posted my Delish quote of the day.
I re-read those posts and am struck by how many I had already forgotten, how grateful I am to have them forever in that page. It is easy to forget the little moments in each day. They are quickly buried under to-do lists, busy schedules and plans for the future.
His observations teach empathy: “Mama, if I were the superhero of all kids and you were the superhero of all Moms and Meisha (our dog) was the superhero of all dogs, then together we could stop people from ever hurting animals ever again”
Then there is the charm: “Mama, never, ever, ever, ever, ever in the whole world was there a better Mama than you. Now give me your hand so I can send you my love.” (He says this on the way to Target. There is a large toy section in Target.)
He was upset with me, one afternoon on our lunch date, he announced to the waitress that he wasn’t talking to me. She asked what I did to make him so angry and he responded, “I forget why, but I am still not talking to her”
He displays wisdom beyond his years when he describes Thanksgiving as “a quiet evening at home” or the madness of my family’s traditional Christmas Eve (uncles dressed in costume) with "It's noisy in there and the fake elf is bossing me.”
He gives a glimpse of the man he will grow up to be when he wins a race against his Daddy and declares, “The winner rules the world and I say no good food ever. Everybody only eats chocolate.”
In his reflections I glimpse my shortcomings and strengths. His honesty reminds me that it is safe to unearth them, share them and let go of the ones that do not serve me, and that despite them when he looks at me his “eyes turn into hearts”.