Thursday, July 06, 2006

Two Year Old Professor

A child’s laughter lights up a room. It bounces around the walls in a happy vibrant music that stretches smiles across the most hardened of adult faces. It’s a laughter birthed in innocence, produced in grand delight and its delightful sound can disarm and swallow us whole.

You’ve heard this sound. It’s the sound of our children, our nephews and nieces and our grandchildren. It’s the sound of a child emerging from behind his peekaboo fingers to look at the face of a playful adult, cackling in laughter time after time, and we are left to wonder at the child’s remarkable innocence.

There are times I have been certain that the Creator shows us some of the keys in ways that may escape us. Or maybe it seems it escapes me and I catch on late in the game. Tonight I am sitting here thinking about a child’s laughter and innocence, yet also viewing it through the prism of a man in his mid fifties, certain I have witnessed the majority of my earth time. It can be foreboding to know this fact and if I dwell too long in the thought………..but when I think of this remarkable innocence in the children, the innocence that produces that clarion signal of delight embedded in the “there is no tomorrow, only this moment” laughter I see something I have perhaps known but quickly forgot and failed to capture into speech, like a lightning bug that shows us the light for an instant and then is gone. When I have known it, I have not known it very long. And when I knew it perhaps it was as short as the blink of my eye or the time it takes a smile to cross my face and disappear again.

I’m thinking tonight that the Creator wants us to understand that the child’s innocence is pure faith. It is faith perhaps born of ignorance, but faith in the big people that surround them and fascination in the universe that amazes them.

The adults sit and wonder at the child’s ignorance and delight, knowing that too soon these children will know our truth.

As I look at my life and even toward my earthly ending I speculate if this might be one of the signals so easily missed. Is it one of the secrets ignored, stepped over as though it were transparent as we look in our adult wisdom in all the wrong places?

I want to be ignorant. I want to know that tomorrow doesn’t exist and that today is all that I know and will ever know. I want to be a child again.

Any man my age would know this is impossible at 55 years old. We would surely be committed and forced to 24/7 medication procedures.

So I concentrate on a philosophy that suits me. I’m conjuring up my vision of this new-found key. It’s a belief and philosophy that the Creator returns us to childhood when the day arrives for us each. Full circle, if you will allow such eastern expansion of thought.

I gaze out into the darkness of the night sky contemplating the death that will certainly visit me, imagining that maybe the Creator smiles knowing he will return me to childhood. Return me to ignorance and faith that worldly toil, pain and years have concealed from my soul. Consider it a cleansing shower, washing away the world of burden until we are clean enough to laugh in simple uncomplicated delight; a rebirth.

I’m sitting at my computer listening to the sounds of such laughter right now. My grandson will be 2 this weekend and he flew to his Rickpa's house this morning all the way from St. Louis to spend the weekend. He has now made 7 full flight running circles from the living room into my office and past my chair, chasing the family dachshund and cackling with the delight I have attempted to describe. I’m grinning wide at his concert of cascading giggles.

He’s 2 tomorrow, and already he is helping me become ignorant again and filled with faith. Maybe I will not have to wait on the Creator for deliverance. Maybe I will be fully and delightfully ignorant by Monday when he leaves.

Only 2, but he has already taught me so much.

I’m staring out my office window into the dark Texas sky. I have always known my soul is eternal, but now I’m hoping it’s childlike too. If that’s alright with the Creator he may feel free to fill my prescription. I’ll just do my best while here to live in the present and remember how to have faith and to laugh, without 24/7 medication.

Now I Get It.... ...Maybe


Leesa said...

I love this post... you are so right :)
If only we could all live with the ignorance of a child sometimes. Actually there are a few that still do.
Thanks for making me smile :)

Robert Shapiro said...

Rick, it is a comfort is it not - the joy of childhood - once remembered, once lived and yet some day once again or maybe more than once.
Goodlife my friend.

samuru999 said...

That was a beautiful post.
Wonderful and captivating words!
Your grandson is very precious!
Your house must be ringing with
pure joy with the company of such
a delightful and breathtaking child.
How fun it must be to be "Rickpa"
Thanks for starting my day off
with a smile.
Sending Birthday wishes of
smiles... like the brightest sunshine...
with an extra helping of immense
joy for the day!

patti_cake said...

Ah the pure innocence of a child. Mine will be 2 in October and I do learn from her everyday.
It's amazing to be around a child. We adults get so caught up in things but they show us to STOP and pare it all down. They get to the heart of the matter in a flash. Your grandson is a doll... "Rickpa" ;)

Stacy The Peanut Queen said...

There is SO much magic in the world that gets lost to us when we shed the ignorance of youth. It's sad, really. I think that maybe that's why I like all things mythical and full of fantasy...because there's SO MUCH seriousness and drama and "reality" in real life...I want something just the opposite.

I want magic. ;)

Rick said...

Made my day. I can only hope I'm a better grandfather than a father. I was twenty years late catching on to the latter and I no longer have that kind of time.

Angie said...

Enjoy the weekend and you will be delightfully ignorant by Monday. It will wear off but the memories you make will provide a portal back to the innocence every time you think of them.

Great story,, go enjoy your grandson!

Miranda said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Miranda T said...

I have read many a post about people's children and grandchildren. It's usually blah, blah, blah, Jenny or Jimmy did this or that. I almost didn't read this one. I am so glad I did! This is a wonderfully written piece and so different from the norm I had to comment, even if I never have before. What a pleasure to read!

Jenn said...

Right on! I spend part of my time trying to hide a smile when I know my daughter needs to learn a different way to do things - and part of my time cracking up at her. Either way - it's a beautiful thing. Drink it in this weekend....maybe some of it will stick with you for a while.

Anonymous said...

Childlike ignorance/Childlike innocence ... it is a wonderful thing. How I love the laughter and playfulness of a little one. Enjoy your weekend "Rickpa" Enjoy those smiles and bask in the wonder of everything. He will be the best two-year old Professor there ever was.

Silent One said...


Lynilu said...

seven, I love what you wrote. So beautifully said. I'm convinced that the Power gives us grandchildren so we can appreciate what pleasures children are. While we are raising them we are caught up in the daily necessities. I don't mean that we don't or can't enjoy our own children ... I know I did mine ... but we are now afforded the ability to be one step removed in responsibility, and thus, we have more time to just sit back and admire the precious creation, to relax and let them teach us what we really need to know, to be able to give ourselves entirely to the process of innocence. I often see my grandchildren as proof that there is good, and that I was able to give enough to my children that they can produce such perfect little humans. My grandchildren are proof that I have done what we all hope for ... I’ve left my mark in the most wonderful way.

Enjoy your weekend.

Seven said...

Thanks to all my friends for the warmth and friendship of your comments. The professor and I just came in from the pool. We watched ants for about 15 minutes, poured water from a bucket into the pool 95 times and each time it was funny and new. Wondered with furrowed brows about a very fast lizard. We poured water onto Rickpa's head and made Rickpa chase thrown balls over and over and over.
Rickpa tired, but smiling......The professor is asleep.
Warm thoughts to you all.

Anonymous said...

wat we lose in childhood i think cant be found in the same way with old age.

im still a kid - very much so woot!