He looked up at me and said "I like being people"
funny how some simple statements say so much
is it that in young minds there are fewer boundaries
and so perhaps wisdom is more an instinctual thing
but the idea that there is an element of choice here
that being people is just one option amongst many
well I have to say that this idea just blew me away
"I like being people too" I said, looking down at him
"but if we weren't people what would you like to be?"
and thus began the kind of conversation I love to have
eyes alive and dancing with all of these possibilities
we range through being sharks, to rocks, to trees
taking a predictable route through jungle animals
insects, birds, crocodiles, yes that sounds like fun
He'll be disappointed to learn that we don't change
even if we really really really want to be different
we stay being people ... well, at least we seem to
he won't be in the least bit satisfied with "let's pretend"
and I don't blame him one little bit, he wants "real"
he wants to swim in the sea and hunt other fish
to fly around like a bat by sonar and hang in caves
But then why do I assume that change is impossible
why allow myself to close these doors in my mind
curbing my big person instinct to correct and re-direct
I ask instead "how will I know it's you if you're a bat?"
I wouldn't want to gobble him up in my crocodile guise
and here the young mind shows that it's in it's element
well we'll know by our eyes of course. Oh, of course.
We get home and take down the big science book
it's a firm favourite with all of it's colourful pictures
we want to look at all the kinds of eyes there are
and you wouldn't believe the variety of them all
big, small, round, oval, slitty, slotty, sideways on
it seems that we'll have to find a better way to know
I leave him to ponder that one tucking him up in bed
Do you ever watch children when they are sleeping
I do. Being an auntie involves this precious privilege
I watch as indescribable dreams flit across their faces
stirrings that sometimes lead to all out flailing about
trusted to be on hand for the odd awakening shout
soothing small boys with my big person presence
re-assuring them that I guard against night monsters
There is something so healing about being here
seeing and almost living a different kind of childhood
contributing in my small way towards a better history
and whose generous heart makes all of this possible?
well you see, I have a sister who is my very best friend
she's my little sister, who's taller, but still littler
except in the things that matter, she's a giantess there.
The Road Not Taken
15 hours ago