Monday, November 12, 2012


The other day Leander was playing with his cars on the floor while I was lying on the sofa. He came over and said: 'Mama, come, wanna show something.' I was tired and couldn't think of what he could possibly show me that I couldn't see from the sofa myself. I told him that I am tired but he insisted: 'Mamaaaa! Come! Wanna show something!' for at least three more times until I got really curious and slowly rolled myself from the sofa down to the floor where we then sat down next to his cars.

Well. What he wanted to show me was that he had parked them all. In line. I could see that. I already watched him do it and saw the result from the sofa. But for him it was really important that I got up, came close and most importantly: shared his joy! And so I did. I looked at him and smiled and said: "Yeah, you parked them all in line." and he nodded and said: "Yeah!"
It was something he had done like a million times before. But he was excited about it NOW. His eyes wide open, sparkling. And he told me that the police car did not fit in that one spot but instead he put it over there! And the more I let his excitement overcome me the more I got really excited myself. He ran away and found a tractor that he needed to park too. And then I needed to help him rearrange the whole parking situation. And we continued parking the cars for a while. Sometimes he told me what I did wrong but mainly we had the same idea of how the cars should be arranged. And more: I had fun. I actually felt some satisfaction in this game. His game. I was where he was and he enjoyed me being there. Not just around but right down there on the floor IN his game. The two of us in one universe.

Two weeks ago I attended a course in which we experimented with Hengstenberg toys and climbing materials for children. But it wasn't just about climbing and playing. It was a lot about going back to our own awareness and how we have become so goal orientated. That we always wonder: "What is that for? What am I supposed to do with it? What is it good for ?"
Heinrich Jacoby, a German educator on sensitivity and awareness, used to say: "Thing - what do you want from me?"
And while - in this course - I was lying on the floor playing with a simple wooden object for 45 minutes, discovering its shape, smell, weight, sitting and standing on it, holding it - all blindfolded - I had so many thoughts going through my mind. I was wondering along an unknown path so open minded feeling so light and curious. So many ideas on what to do and explore with this piece of wood came to my mind that suddenly I did not just remember Jacoby's saying but also felt it. Deeply.

And amongst all this playing I suddenly heard Leander saying: 'Mama, come with me.' to what I used to respond with: 'Why?' or 'Where are we going?' And I realised how sad that was. How sad for me not being open for the unknown. Not being curious. And how sad for Leander - always having to "convince" me with a certain reason to follow his excitement.

Obviously I don't always have time to follow him. But the more I allow myself to do so when there is nothing else the more often he accepts when I really have to refuse his begging for a particular reason. And then he goes off, maybe doing something completely different than what he had in mind. Because he still is open to the unknown while I am re-learning hard the joy of saying "Ok. Let's go!" instead of "Where to?".

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