by EHP on Tuesday, June 29, 2010
As mothers, we know our children so well we can read their small disappointments and their pleasure with a single glance. When apart from them, we may see a photograph, a small toy, a book, and think, “oh, she would just love that!” Yes, we think we know them. Yet, there are times when we are so very, very wrong. Like when a 2nd grader lays his head on the table and weeps inconsolably because his pre-school drawing of a turtle cannot be found. Or when normally docile children cannot stop themselves from throwing crayons while waiting on their dinner at a restaurant. Or when a child just won’t quit whining. In these moments of crisis, many a modern mother could find herself astonished, thinking, or even saying, Why are you acting like this?!” Or, “Why are you doing that?!” Hungry, tired, wanting attention are obvious answers, though the more basic reason is because he’s 2, or 5, or just not an adult yet. A third, more philosophical answer, would be that children are individuals, each with his own quirks and inner life, which we may never truly know. Or, to quote C.S. Lewis,"what can you ever really know of other people's souls - of their temptations, their opportunities, their struggles?" Whatever the reason for her child's actions, the well mannered mother can rest assured that science may eventually succeed in reversing the aging process, but it may never unlock the mystery of why sometimes not getting “the red one” can lead to a sustained tantrum.