Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Jesus' teaching about Children

Richard Rohr, in his brilliant book Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer writes: 'Jesus uses the image of a child to teach "beginner's mind." A child is one without ego identity to prove, project, or protect. Little children are not protecting identity yet. They know kinesthetically and respond to what is, not what should be or might be. That's why they cry and squeal with pleasure so much... When they see a little animal, they don't have to filter it through their heads and check to see if they like it. Nor do they ask if it is dangerous... If only we could receive reality so immediately and so spontaneously, without our adult judgments and calculations. Whoever does not welcome the kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.'

That's our Millie! This morning she watched The Wiggles and Bananas in Pyjamas and danced with delight. Interesting that she doesn't have to be taught to move her body/arms/legs - she does it spontaneously and gracefully...

And her words... She can say the name of her little friend - Victoria - perfectly! She repeats the last few syllables of everything we say to her. And she's so cute when she says 'Bye Bye' to anything/anyone (rabbit, bear, grandma) when she leaves a place. A flock of yellow-tailed black cockatoos flew overhead when we were walking yesterday, and when they'd gone she said 'Bye Bye Cockatoos!'

Small things are 'baby' things. Look at the little plane Millie! To which she responds 'Baby plane.' I think I've written about her 'baby moon!'

She's learning about 'time out' - when she hits the baby or our house guest's little dog. She sits with her mother in the darkened hallway, and is rebuked. She understands. But she asks for 'Daddy', 'Lockie' - or even 'Bella', the baby, to rescue her!

At present she's away with her mum at the church's playgroup: she loves it!