Wishing For A Glimpse

I love the way my son’s mind works.  I don’t understand it most days – but I love it.

The other day, as we drove to an appointment, he said “I like when roads have all those lines in them and they match the sidewalks.  We went to a carnival with roads like that, remember?” (um, no…..I have NO idea what you are talking about, dear) “Did you like that carnival?  What was your favorite part?”  Thankfully, better words came out of my mouth than what was dancing around in my head.   That may sound like conversation-perpetuating, leading questions, but, honestly I was just trying to figure out what he was seeing in his mind!  After hearing all the details about food venders and chalk drawings and parade floats, eventually I understood the ‘roads with all those lines’ were brick roads and the ‘carnival’ was street festival in a local suburb.  We were there SIX years ago.  He was three.

He can’t remember where he put his shoes 10 minutes ago, but he can tell me every color in a chalk drawing he saw 6 years ago.  He described the way the shadows from the light poles and flags made the colors look brighter or darker in parts.  He remembered seeing a woman in a very colorful outfit with a dog wearing a vest and a silly hat.  I don’t remember any of that – not the shadows, not the woman, not the dog.  Truthfully, it could be his mind creating things that never really existed – he is very imaginative.  More likely – he’s just much more connected to his world and has learned to capture and recall the joys he experiences.  I envy his memories.

He often changes scenarios in our days by creating inventions in his mind.  He invents things like automatic roads that would drive our car safely so I could sit in the back seat next to him and we could have more time together.  Our car would also have a special sensor that would turn every light green for us so we would never be late anywhere.  Those would be some pretty cool inventions!

He once described an elaborate time machine and told me about the motor and exhaust and fuel sources, too (environmentally friendly, of course).  He created story after story, using the time machine to travel forward or back in time to do funny, or amazing, or selfless, or necessary, or absurd things.  It gives me a peek into what he might wish he could change about his world.

Sometimes his mind confuses me.  I watch him fuss with pencils to be sure they’re arranged correctly.  I see him struggle with the look of a sandwich that wasn’t cut exactly in half.  I watch him stumped by easy homework, because a picture clue is different from what was used in class.  But, in his own time, his mind blossoms and creates these wonderful stories and brings back memories of things like the smell of a freshly cut field in a park or the sound of raptor wings flapping at a sanctuary or the vivid colors of mountains out west.

I sometimes wish I understood more – usually when he seems to be struggling.  I just want to help, to fix what is causing him stress.  But, more often I am amazed at his memory and imagination.  I wish I understood more so that I could find a way to remember sights and smells.  I want a mind that is free to invent and imagine and wonder.  I wish I was not so bogged down in worry and necessity and responsibility and could just be filled with wonder.

Until I learn how to release my mind, I will live through his.  It’s a wonderful journey.  I’m so grateful he has taken me along for the (sometimes circuitous) ride.


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