Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Mind Of A Child

I would love to go back to the seven year old mindset. Not permanently, just for a little visit. I want to wear Christmas socks in August and not feel weird. I want the world to be right or wrong, good or bad, fun or not fun. I want food divided into two categories: yummy or gross. I want to consider candy a food group, play a necessity and anger to be fleeting. My son is furious with me about 27 times a day, more in the summer, but it usually lasts about 10 minutes and all can be forgiven over hugs and popsicles. Wouldn't it be fun, for a little while, to worry about nothing more than losing a board game to your brother or missing Spongebob? Wouldn't it be great to just pull on whatever clothes have made their way to the front of the dresser drawer and not think about it once you're clothed? I'd like to be comfortable leaving the house in an inside out purple Scooby Doo shirt, blue cammo shorts, striped Christmas socks and sandals and think I look the coolest. I'd like to not care if I wore the same thing yesterday. There's a large degree of self-absorption in every child, but it's not always a bad thing. With it, your world both shrinks and becomes bigger at the same time. Yes, you're usually thinking almost exclusively about your own desires but at the same time, you're not worried about what anyone else thinks. When other people's opinions don't matter to you, you have such freedom to be silly, to make mistakes and be amazed by little things.

I'd love to be able to toss out the insane things that come out of my son's mouth with the carefree abandon that he does. A couple of years ago, he was being fitted for his first pair of glasses. The gal was doing her thing, putting them on his face, measuring, taking them off, adjusting and repeating the process. Charlie was fairly tolerant of this period of inactivity, much to my surprise. After the third or fourth adjustment, she had his glasses about three quarters to his face when Charile announced "I like monkeys." Just like that, very matter of fact, it was time for all to know he likes monkeys. She froze with the glasses midway to his face and looked somewhat cautiously over her shoulder. I honestly believe that for a fraction of a second, she wondered if there was a monkey lurking somewhere behind her. A quick scan of the room revealed no hidden monkeys, no monkey pictures, no monkey books, not even someone wearing a shirt with a monkey on it. The thought simply popped into his head, and it needed to come out, right away.

I like looking at everyday things with my son. To a seven year old, dragonflies really do look like dragons and might grow into a real dragon under the right circumstances. Fireflies really have fire in them that needs to come out or they'll explode. Watermelon should be called something else because there's juice inside, not water. The fear that if you spin in a circle really really fast and stop suddenly, your face will slide to the back of your head is a real thing. Life is pretty sweet when a free cookie from the bakery lady at the grocery store makes your whole day. The right clothes don't matter, the right car means nothing, the right neighborhood only has to have a bunch of other kids and a dollar means you're rich. I'd love to be a seven year old again, for a while anyway.

I'm going to go put on my Christmas socks.