On the drive home from the Chrysler Museum Friday, my six-year-old son playfully asked,
“Mommy, do you ever feel like sometimes your heart is too big to fit in your chest? Like, maybe you need to wear some of it outside of you?”
Funny how such a light-hearted question from my little boy’s mind had the power to expand my heart for days now. I am convinced God had a hand in delivering the ultimate message that resonated with me, despite the innocence with which it was presented. My son does talk a lot, true, and I should admit that he doesn’t really understand a lot of what he says. He’s only 6, after all. Days spent with him involve continuous, nonstop dialogue sprinkled with dozens of unusual and often interesting associations outside the realm of my cluttered and sadly repressed adult mind. Of course I encourage his free thinking and uninhibited chatter as often as possible. I hope he always feels free to play with words this way. I also believe this incessant need for conversation is part of his unique learning style and way of assessing the world around him. He needs to be able to talk about what he sees, and he also needs the adults around him to actively listen. I hope I always make a point to occasionally document some of his musings, because as precious as his words are now, they will no doubt take on richer and more profound meaning as we both grow older and attempt to figure it all out together.
I remember being little (probably just a bit older than 6, maybe 7 or 8) and wondering why adults didn’t take me seriously. I knew what I was talking about, why didn’t they? Or why were they surprised when I observed something that made sense? As an adult I see that I didn’t have the same context for some of these deeper things that an adult does, but I still basically got it. I am continually amazed by what my kids seem to really *GET* even though I remember distinctly feeling these things. Of course what really amazes me these days is what they don’t seem to really understand. And that is why I think many adults don’t see what kids GET; what they don’t get is surprising, so it is hard to imagine that they GET things we consider harder, more mature, more complicated than some of the things they don’t get.
Sherry you must keep writing.
Thank you SO MUCH for your thoughts Beth. My head is spinning at the moment with the things my son GETS, as well as my inadequacy at times in explaining some of the tougher questions he’s been asking lately. The death of our pet brought on a WHOLE SLEW of questions I was not prepared to answer. Essentially, he’s asking about many of life’s mysteries that adults ponder and debate. It’s fascinating to me. I hope I’m up to the task of helping him continue to expand his thoughts and inquiries without inhibition. May he question everything! Yes, it did feel good to write this short blog. I want to write more, but that “watcher at the gates” won’t let me go. I should be a better role model. I had hoped that growing older and wiser would make me braver. But who knows what next week will bring 😉