M is on the changing table – soon to be a thing of the past knock on wood – and puts his squirmy wormy legs up the wall next to him.
“Wawk up dere, peese.” states my oddly polite 2 year old.
“Walk up the wall?” I confirm his intent.
“Peese. Wawk up dere and over dere and down dat side.” He gestures to illustrate his intent to climb the wall and cross the ceiling.
My freeform self wants to encourage this outside the box thinking. My anxious self flashes to headlines of fatal falls from fourth floor windows by kids wearing blankie capes, attempting to fly.
Why must he learn Newtonian physics? Anyone know of good quantum physics stories for the pre-preschool set?
It’s not that I’m opposed to limits. Far from it. Painted hands and feet stay on the paper, not the floor. Splashing stays in the tub. Hitting in all its variations (punching, kicking, butting, et al) is not allowed.
Yet somehow it saddens me to think I must tell my child he can’t walk on air.
As a kid, I read and re-read Madeline L’Engle’s novels, reveling in their mysticism. As an adult I discovered her nonfiction essays and memoirs. While much is too doctrinal for me, the mysticism still resonates. In one, she shares early early memories of visiting her grandparents’ home each summer. Of walking down a particular staircase without touching the stairs. She writes that she doesn’t know how she did so, just that she did so. Repeatedly and with joy. As an older child she tried to do so again but couldn’t remember how.
Must I teach my child about gravity? The thought is so…heavy.
Limits versus possibility. Yoga teaches it is conceivable to have both. Necessary even. Too much stability and I get stuck. Too much flexibility and I lose form. On my mat, vibrant energy flows when I find the sweet spot that balances effort and relaxation, weight and ease, stability and lightness. Roots and wings – borrowing an image from some poet or inspirational magnet. Teach my child to be safe and encourage his boundless energy. A good aspiration for parenting, off the mat.
First posted September 2011