Monday, May 2, 2011

What He Knows

"Mommy?" comes Westley's voice from the back seat, "If you attach two telescopes together, it makes binoculars!"

How does he know these things? I haven't a clue. Yesterday, out of the blue, he asked me about umbilical cords. That makes a little bit more sense, as there are several babies-getting-born books in our house. But still.

Westley knows that kangaroo starts with "K" and Chewbacca starts with "C-H." He can sing "The Farmer in the Dell" by himself. He knows how to pick a perfect avocado. I didn't teach him any of this directly. He picked it all up on his own. He's always, always listening and watching. (And some things he just seems to know. When my back is really bothering me, Westley uses the radar in his hands to find just the right spot to pat.) But he knows almost nothing about world events.

Last night I was so glad that Rob and I are not news-watchers. Our television is reserved for movies, and NPR is turned off when Westley is around because "I don't wike all dis talkin'!" Westley knows that love is not controlled by gender, and that we believe in kindness and gentleness for all people and animals. But when Rob's and my conversation veers too far into the political, Westley interjects, "You guys are talkin' serious!"

On one hand, I want to raise a child who is aware of current events in the world around him. On the other hand, I struggle with the idea of trying to explain to my son things I can never fully understand. Things I often don't want to think about. Talking about sex? Not so challenging (in my experience). But war, killing... I wouldn't know where to start.

I want to be a filter for my son, to help him know and see the world. But how do I do that through my own uncertainty?

Westley drums on a helium balloon with his finger and declares, "I'm making the balloon to be music." And then, a moment later, "This is music. Balloons are music."

This is what he knows, right now.

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3 comments:

notmommy said...

Have you read Girls Gone Child? She posted about today's news and Acher's response. It might make you a little more comfortable even though Wes is a bit younger.

notmommy said...

BTW notmommy is Amber :-)

Jessica - This is Worthwhile said...

Hawk keeps drilling me and Rooster as to WHY DOES DARTH VADER WANT TO RULE THE GALAXY?? I told him he was hungry for power, his father launched into a lengthy explanation about low self-esteem and a need for control. In the end, he rejected them both and said it was because "Darth Vader likes to boss around Stormtroopahs."