Since we don’t watch television, we sometimes spend a few moments before Sunboy’s bedtime showing him diverse cultural touchstones. We’ve learned how a variety of items are made, both artisan and industrial. We’ve listened to Steven Hawking talk about the potential for life on other planets. We’ve watched cartoons from my childhood, including Pink Panther and (his favorite) Roadrunner and Coyote. We’ve watched the July 20, 1969 Moon Landing.
Tonight, it was 1930s tap-dancing. Fred and Ginger. He asked if it was real. Real, I said, but a movie, a musical. It seemed odd to him. Black and white film, dancing in the streets, tap-dancing. He asked again if it was real.
As he drifted to sleep, I shared a thought that I was trying to express in 140 characters. I said we’re constantly changing and constantly becoming, and so we should make sure we are becoming what we want to be.
Life rarely allows us to design a path and walk down it unencumbered. Yet, if we conceptualize who and how we want to be, that concept can become a light in the distance. We will deviate, move sideways and backwards from the light, but the light of who we want to be will set us back on course.
Sunboy said he wasn’t constantly changing. He said if he counted the hairs on his head they would be the same yesterday and today. I asked him if he was the sum of the hairs on his head. In the last few days, he’s practiced swimming, been to the aquarium, and been to school. New experiences have moved him along his path. But where does his path lead, in the distance?
Do we want to be someone who shares negativity or positivity? Do we want to make things better to the extent that we are able? If we have an hour to learn something, will it be a good thing or a bad thing? Each of these are part of reaching the light in the distance.
He asked if I thought all knowledge was good. I said for a long time I thought all knowledge was good because it provided information about our world. Now, I said, I still think knowledge is inherently good, but I wish there was some knowledge I didn’t have. A person can’t un-see or un-know things. When the things we know are sad, it can act as a fog filtering the light.
Somewhere during these thoughts, he fell asleep. I wonder how many hairs he will have on his head tomorrow, and what light he will place in the distance to point his way.