Thursday, 3 April 2014

Do you really know what adorable and fabulous mean?

My two favourite conversations with Christopher (who is 3 years old) from recent weeks:

First conversation: 

Christopher: 'Mum, I'm so sorry, you can't help with this puzzle because you're too adorable.'

Me: 'OK, I understand.' (Behind the scenes: OH. MY. GOODNESS. Heart too big for body. Need to lie down.)

Second conversation:

Christopher: 'Mum, why are there handles at the side of the toilet?'

Me: 'For someone to hold on to if they are having a bit of trouble standing up maybe?'

Christopher: 'Oh, I see. It's for people who are fabulous.'

Me: 'Yes I think that's exactly it.' (Imagining one of my friends with disabilities saying 'Oh I couldn't possibly use that tiny, inferior toilet you have there. I can only use the Fabulous One over in the corner there.')

I treasure these times when so many words get slipped in as experiments and come out this way..... They make me question how I use words and how we all think we know what everything means. Which obviously we don't. So much of our 'understanding' is based on assumptions and old ideas we have just accepted as being true. It's all much more miraculous and wondrous than anything we are conditioned to believe.

It's so tempting when we are with children to answer all their questions, to think they've 'got things wrong' and correct them. It is much more interesting to wonder alongside them and to take their invitation to marvel quietly at the world from the perspective of the present moment. Often, their innocent, immediate and alive perspective is just what we need to bring us to life. If only we can suspend our thinking - if only for a moment - that we know what everything is for. 

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