I met a “Ramona” yesterday while I painted “holiday scenes” with white pens on the window of a wonderful shop downtown. I was standing on the inside-ledge of the window. “Ramona” was standing outside….on the sidewalk, looking-in, watching my pen strokes, and mirroring them with her hands. I was as mesmerized with her as she was with me. Watching her navigate the experience….as her adults had “LOTS OF THINGS TO DO ON THEIR LIST” that day, I smiled and played along with her. This child was not two, but maybe for or five years old. When the nervous adults intervened, she expressed her emotional intelligence with clear wails and tears. It was not a tantrum….it was simply sorrow. Sadness.
She was not ready to move along from this experience….to the NEXT ON THE LIST!
Practically, there are not that many Ramona-sorts of human beings walking around on the street. Most of us HOLD our emotional-contexts very close to the place of silence and courtesy. We make sure we navigate as quietly around the expectational-radar fields as we can. We can be quite skilled at this as adults….AND, some of us work very hard to help OUR children do the same at a very young age.
It takes a certain Kind of Adult to allow the unfolding of the Ramona-spirit and personality. The older I become, and the more time I spend with children, I am peevishly-aware of the level of deceptive-courtesy involved in the entire game. In the space of time in a single day, what would it hurt the older human to spend another 20 to 30 minutes just taking in the experience For the Child’s Sake versus The LIST?
Yes, The List, the Clock, the Phone, The Planner, and the Success of the Day…..in the adult-mind is one of function and practicality. But when our lives are encircled with children, we would do well to heed another rhythm….that of Right Now. Ramona was standing in THE NOW. Certain and perceptive, she was actually pulling in an experiential bit of cognitive information that might be so important for the next bit of NOW. But there is a reality here that played out clearly before us that day…..
“Ramona” children make adults who love control VERY NERVOUS….as there is clearly an expectation of capability to parent well…..almost to the extent in some circles of “taming the spirit of the child”….curtailing the “foolish whims”….prompting “quick-obedience”. What if we became more involved in nurturing well…listening well….seeing well….walking alongside well….sitting quietly well….planning a day more gently….allowing for experiential moments to occur….bits of wonder and window-painting?
I have a feeling that there would be large doses of wellbeing experienced by All.