Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Answer Game

I knew Z wouldn't be tired at bedtime.  We had spent the morning playing at the park.  He played with some new friends, and after our friend left, we hung out eating pink bubblegum and pistachio gelato and picked out a few groceries.  On the way home he fell asleep, next to his brother, and took a nice afternoon nap.

When the bedtime alarm went off, I gave him a few more minutes, and started the dishwasher.  Then we headed off to start bedtime.

I could tell by his energy that he wasn't going down easy.  I understood why.  Instead of being frustrated, I surrendered.  It's always better when I surrender.

We read stories from our old fairy book, and talked about how awesome it would be to find one in the fairy house we built.  We talked about how easily they are disguised in nature and we hope to see one some day.  We discussed how different they all were, and how fun it would be to fly with the birds and dragonflies.  We love fairies!

He told me one of his awesome imaginative stories, and then I thought I should just go to bed too.  I was tired, and 9:30 was approaching.  Why not go to bed at a descent time?  I ask myself this nearly every night.  I asked him to wait until I got ready for bed and I'd come right back.

I returned quickly and scooped him up and took him into our bed, next to Bodhi, who was soundly asleep.  We told a story, and just when we were getting ready to shut off the light, he asked, "Want to play the answer game?"   I knew it was another way to prolong going to sleep, but I was intrigued by this game.  The most special moments happen when you least expect it.  I also know what it feels like to not be super tired and be laying in bed with an active mind.  "Sure.  We can play it for a little while.  What's the answer game?"

Z said, "Okay.  Here's the answer game.  You give me all of your answers, and I will give you all of my answers."

I smiled in the dark.  "Well, do you want to ask me a question?"

"No.  Just give me all your answers.  You have more answers than me."

I laughed.  "Well, you're pretty smart and you have a lot of answers too!  Usually, when you ask a question, someone can give you an answer.  How about you ask me a question."

I thought, you really do have as many answers as me, about the important stuff.  All the rest will fall in place, when you're ready, sweet boy.

"Well, you have more answers than me.  Okay.  What's steam?"  We had been talking about steam lately.  It started when we put an ice cube in some hot soup a while back and he said it was smoking.  We've also been doing a lot of science experiments lately.

"Steam is water vapor.  When hot meets cold, the water steams, and rises like smoke.  It's like when we put a piece of ice in hot soup."

He listened, asked a few more questions about steam and smoke, then told me to ask one.

"What animal do you love?"

"Shadow.  She's my friend.  And P. Pat."

We each asked a few more questions, then he seemed happy and more relaxed.  We fell asleep shortly after.

He always amazes me.  I love his games and questions.  I love his imagination.  I love to know what he is thinking.  I love to listen to him.  I love to learn what meant something to him, and what he remembers.  I love that he is a sponge, and it reminds me to watch every single thing I do and say.  I love watching his mind and heart expand.  I love to see his eyes open.  I love to see creation stirring.  I love the beginner's mind in action.

I also think it's sweet and cute how he thinks I have so many answers and trusts me to know everything.  I will always answer his questions, or we find an answer.  It's such an amazing journey with children, learning and growing together.

I am eternally grateful for my little teachers.

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