I remember when I was young that I would quite often lie down somewhere quiet and close my eyes. I would allow my mind to drift, yet concentrate on being aware of how my body felt in the space. I can distinctly remember a floating feeling as if I were no longer inside my body, but looking at it from a short distance away. Once I had reached this peaceful place I would then ask myself some very deep questions.
“Who am I? Why am I here?”
Naturally I never really got a good answer, but I just let my mind think about it and really feel every part of my body and my mind. Yes, it is kind of weird, but it’s something I just used to do.
I recently had cause to wonder whether my seven year old son has similar thoughts and experiences. When I was having those deep thoughts, I was maybe between 9-13 years old. I did it a little as a teenager too, in moments of distress or when I felt a bit ‘lost’. Whether I did it any younger than that I can’t recall.
About a week ago, my little boy and husband were sitting at the kitchen bench having a lovely little’ Son and Dad’ moment. They were eating something and having a chat. My son had his feet up on my husbands knees. He looked over at his Dad and said.
“Daddy. If you had a different choice in life, would you decide not to have any children?”
My husband thought for a moment and answered.
“Nope. I would still have had children.” My son seemed happy enough with that answer, but it got me thinking that he must have been thinking about and being aware of the impact he has on our lives. We try very hard not to give him the idea that he makes our life harder, but sometimes it’s not easy and we accidentally lose our patience and it becomes quite clear to him that he’s being a nuisance. He has in fact been known to say out loud, “Oh! I’m such a nuisance! I don’t know why I’m so naughty sometimes!”
Although it’s quite heart breaking for him to be thinking that, we are only human and he’s pretty full on, so we can’t always be completely ‘eye roll’ or ‘tut’ free!
A few days after that, he was sitting on the lounge with me and out of the blue he said,
“Mummy, if a baddie came into the house and something bad had to happen, who would you sacrifice?”
I thought for a while, and he clarified, “Only out of us three in this family.”
I answered, “That’s a tough one. Ummm.. Myself.”
Son: “Oh! But why wouldn’t you sacrifice me? You should sacrifice me because I am the one who causes all the trouble anyway.”
Wrrrreeeennnnnncccchhhhhh…….. Ouch. That’s pretty full on for a seven year old to be thinking about. He’s so emotionally immature, but yet sometimes, it’s so clear that his thinking is just so deep and ‘mature’ in many ways.The trouble we have is that he often keeps the thoughts to himself and just acts out on his own internal conclusions without consulting an adult to help guide his deep thoughts into more positive pastures!
I’ve been wanting to do quite a thoughtful and personal post for a while, but I keep thinking about what I want to write, and I realise that I’m not quite brave enough yet to say many of the things I want to say. I’ve made quite a few big blunders recently with my little one. Stuff that most parents do on a daily basis and don’t realise the impact it has on their kids. I guess that most kids either don’t realise what their parents have said, or they get over it easier because of all the other good stuff that happens to them around the occasional slip up their parents may have. My son on the other hand, remembers and holds on to things I might say, or little gestures or facial expressions.
He’s almost the opposite to autistic kids in that rather than missing social cues or not understanding non-verbal communication, he sees more than might be there. He thinks too deeply about what people might be meaning even when they aren’t saying something. He also picks up on stuff you might say in passing and carries it with him for ages, turning it over in his little inexperienced mind. It can cause trouble. It has caused trouble. It is still causing trouble.
I guess the hope I have now is that he’s starting to actually tell us what he’s been thinking about. He’s been asking pertinent questions, which give us an insight into what he’s been mulling over. Then we get a chance to jump in and help him make more positive sense of what he’s been thinking.
I guess in the end… that’s who I am… that’s why I’m here. To help this little fellow find his way through a very complicated and confusing world. I hope I get it right!