Ever wondered how or what a child dreams of?
Candy land? Perhaps running…or even walking in a lush field of green? Do they even know what their precious young minds imagine and machinate? I know what most of you parents are thinking.
Nope. They just flow with the motions. They’re just babies…just kids.
In my experience as a teacher of all and a single father of one there has been one lesson I have deemed impossible for the non-willing to comprehend; knowing that you know naught.
Now I know that statement can be seemingly condescending, especially from a guy that never gave birth (shout-out to all you mothers out there; you are loved and truly appreciated), but all I mean to say is that as a parent or guardian or caregiver, none of us have a monopoly of knowledge. You would be quite surprised from where your wisdom may be impacted from.
Two days ago, my Samantha was playing with a small work of clay that she had fiddled around with a few days back when we were having some daddy-daughter day out in the fields. She was on my lap, grabbing and trying to bit the clay as it was cool and moist to have in her hand, and the swift breeze was all that kept us adrift of the hot afternoon sun. The tree we sat under calmed us with its blessing of a shade, and out of the blue I was bitten by an ant- right in the navel.
My first instinct was to get Sam to safety.
I lifted her high on my shoulders, partly being overprotective and partly not wanting her to see her daddy shed a tear. I used my free hand to get under my shirt and rip the bloody ant from my navel. It throbbed in heat, and I walked (half-walked half- waltzed) to the house, where I lay her down to sleep while I checked her top to bottom for the red buzzers.
There were none.
But the strangest thing that my daughter did after she woke up was use the clay and a bit of her spittle, not to devour or make a weird figurine from, not to throw and paste on her face.
No. She slimed it across my hurting navel and slept on my chest to calm me.
What am I trying to imply here? That somehow my 11-month old daughter understood I was in pain and needed soothing without a word exchanged?
Maybe I am.
But the cover of the tale is to bring a light to the existence of a bond and wisdom that traverses working knowledge that we adults have. The joy and innocence that is our children’s should be protected and taken as a teacher, to show us the subtleties of life that we choose to forget.
Sam is no baby genius perhaps, but she is my teacher in ways I will have to find out in the coming years. Maybe she dreams of the future, or the past, or maybe our children are God in their dreams and all that happens is in their control if only we gave ourselves time to imagine and be humble.
It seems only time can tell.