Thursday, April 29, 2010

27 Months (parte deux)

Quinn has reached that stage in life where she suddenly understands that she doesn't have to take anymore shit from her brother.

Being the younger sibling has the inevitable consequences of accepting all of the hand-me-downs from the older brothers or sisters. That doesn't simply mean that they get all of the partially worn clothes or cracked plastic toys or mangy blankets. It also means that when they play together, Quinnita must deal with having all of the lower quality items. Until now it hasn't been much of a problem because Quinn mostly just wanted to play with Lucas as much as possible. But slowly and astutely she is becoming more and more aware of the reasons that Lucas is so free to hand over a particular toy.

For the longest time Xtimu and I have tried to make sure that Lucas doesn't just take whatever he wants from people. Politeness is a requirement growing up in this household. "Will you please give me..." or "May I please have..." are two acceptable phrases when asking for something. Lucas thoroughly understands our stance on this and for the most part follows the protocol but he also really doesn't like to have something that, according to his reasoning, is of lower quality than whatever else might substitute for said item. So he has designed sneaky and very specific ways of acquiring the more desired item. For example regular ole Lightning McQueen is much better than dirt-racer Lightning McQueen. I don't really know why but what that means is that Lucas will find a way for Quinn that means that she gets stuck with the dirt-racer model 99% of the time, the 1% only being those few precious minutes when Lucas is distracted.

Oh yes, this is what it has come down to in CasaWex, the dreaded Lightning McQueen debate. It's a toss-up between Dinaco Lightning McQueen (or the blue one), Rusteeze Lightning McQueen (the red one) and dirt-racer Lightning McQueen (also red but with a brown dirt color on the bottom instead of gray). The important thing to understand is that they are all the exact same car except for few color quirks of difference between them. Which one is the best? How the hell should I know? All I know is that when I play with one of them, it doesn't matter which one, they all feel and act the same.

The thing with children is that they don't really know how to hide their egos. As we grow it's a part of our nature that we either learn to control it or just let it overpower everything. In the first case our behavior allows us to interact with others, developing relationships based on respect. The second case often leads to loneliness, conflict with others, which can result in horrifying injury or death, and if you have enough privilege on your side, it may also lead to supreme power. Either way there is a distinct division between the types of human beings who've learned to control their egos and all the other assholes in the world, those children who never learned to share. Some children naturally are better at sharing than others but so far Lucas is at an age where allowing someone else access to his stuff is paramount to psychological torture, even when that person is his own sister.

Quinn must now deal with that ego. She's not one to back down once she gets her mind set, either. Lucas is in for a difficult ride if he thinks that he is going to control this little gal. I guess that's why he's already resorting to mind games in order to have superior power over her but I don't think that's going to last much longer anyway, either. Quinn has a magical awareness already and there are many moments when I am startled by some of the things she seems to understand. I had a feeling that it wouldn't take long for her to start holding her own when it comes to childhood interactions with that brother of hers. The thing that Lucas needs to understand is that Quinn actually really likes to play with him at this point. She loves him as an older brother. He should embrace that energy and use it so that he will always have an ally by his side throughout life. Quinn is very loyal in this way and that's just another aspect of her nature that I really appreciate.

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Monday, April 05, 2010

66 Months

"Mommy, the moon looks like a smile."

These are the sentiments of my son as we drive home late at night, the sliver of a moon hanging in the sky. When I hear him make such heart-wrenching declarations I know how sweet and beautiful Lucas is inside his soul. We have been blessed with a precious wonder of the universe and I love to see and hear all the ways the world lights up in his eyes.

It's so easy to simply sit and watch Lucas as he moves through life. He has a special grace that guides his movements and he often will glance up with that twinkle of delight cast in his eyes and those remarkable thoughts surging forth. He has so many big ideas that yearn for understanding, even if they don't exactly make sense the first time. It's okay because he is eagerly seeking to find some truth to this existence. He wants to learn about all of the massive undertakings of the universe even when the kernel of enlightenment might be greater than everything that he will ever know. He revels in the thought and embraces it, then tries to explain the importance of those ideas to others.

Oh yes, he really wants to let you in on all of the magic in the world. It's all out there around us, you know? We have this annoying habit of forgetting how amazing our lives are as we stumble forth searching for clarity and a semblance of purpose. Sometimes the idea of becoming mature and honorable adults hinders our ability to perceive the gorgeous chorus that swirls around our hallowed heads. We become so strict and righteous that looking through the eyes of a child has become a nuisance instead of a gift. Perhaps that is why our schools all have metal detectors and we throw five-year-olds in detention when they don't adhere to a social paradigm (and why do we have social standards for five-year-olds in the first place?) Maybe we've lost touch with the element of grace that used to keep our heart glistening in our eyes. Which could be the reason violence has become the candy of choice for all of the bright young children of tomorrow; from Tranformers clutching at four-year-old hearts to online wargames numbing these toy soldiers toward acts of cowardice so prevalent in our collective consciousness, causing heads to shake and staunch representatives to fight for more self-righteous control under the guise of keeping our children safe.

That's why I am so grateful to wake up and have this beautiful boy in my life. I know that each day the lasso grabs at him and pulls him back toward some preordained ideology that is awash in the stain of sickness; racism, sexism, violence and Disney; but for now he is all mine and I get to decide what pill he will swallow. I know there's a false sense of innocence in the idea that he is so innocent and every meltdown that occurs because practicing violin every day is a tragedy beyond repair reminds me of that folly, but he truly is innocent compared to all of the torturous souls that I see all around me everyday (thanks a lot Dick Cheney!). We only have a short time to cherish our wonderful children. Through tears and laughter and smiles and heartache, we press forward and try to remember how healing each and every hug can be. Lucas still makes me want to wrap my arms around him with mucho enthusiasm each and every time that I get to see him.

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