There is a lot of babbling going on in our house lately.
Marathon Babble: With only 10 days and a wake up until my race, my brain can’t think much further than running.
Baby Babble: Chet’s talking up a storm. He’s saying more than just mama and ball. Ball actually has a “L” sound at the end of it now.
Beer/Bike/Surf Babble: Can anyone guess who this belongs to? If you don’t know my husband, follow him on instagram and you’ll know more about beer than you had ever thought there was to know (seriously – morebeersthangears).
And Eight Year Old Babble. It’s the thought process of my too smart, too creative, too emotional, too scientific eight year old that has really caught my attention lately. It is his babble that has made me step back from my marathon babble and forced me to think beyond the world of running.
Christian, how old were you when you had your first girlfriend?
Cole is starting to take notice. He is noticing the cute strawberry blonde who sits across from him at school. He notices when she stares at him. He was aware when she gave him two valentines at school instead of one. He is noticing flirty behaviors between other classmates. He wants to know why I love Christian and why Christian loves me. He wants to know how old we were when we went on a first date and had our first kiss. He is noticing girls on television. He is too aware of sexy commercials and music on the radio. He giggles uncomfortably.
Whenever he talks about this, I stop what I’m doing. I listen. I let him talk. I ask what he wants to know, and I answer his questions. I hope he will always talk to me about girls and all the things he is noticing. Creating this dialogue now is a priority for me. I want him to keep babbling.
Mom, Do you believe in God? Do you believe in Heaven?
Cole has a naturally inquisitive mind. He loves to understand things. We are not a religious family by definition of religion. We do not believe in church. We do believe in love, values, and ethics. Cole is curious. He wants to know what happens in church since some of his friends attend on weekends. We have offered to take him. He is studying the history of Rome and Greece. He wants to know about their Gods and their belief systems. We have read book after book about Greek Gods. He has created his own Gods to celebrate the things that he loves. He wants to know what people believe in other cultures, other time periods, and on the other side of the world. We have read books on all the religions in the world.
Cole is babbling a lot about religion. I do not want to give him answers. I want him to find his own way. I want him to believe what feels right for him. If he wants to attend church, I will take him. If he wants to mediate before bed, I will provide an environment that allows this to happen. If he changes his mind every week, I will do my best to provide knowledge on any subject related to his questions. I do not believe there is a right or a wrong answer for any of these questions. The only answer Cole needs is an answer he creates for himself.
Look up at the sky. Say hi to your mom. Say hi to your dad. Did you know the universe is our parent?
Cole’s television channel of choice is the science channel. I do not watch these programs with him. Too be honest, I don’t even know what he watches. He loves it. Maybe I should monitor what he is watching, but I don’t. He is learning. He is using his brain. He is absorbing knowledge on his own that has him engaged. This makes me happy. This comment was made to Christian after he watched some show that I don’t know the title of (but maybe I should).
While we are busy talking about girls and talking about religion, I think Cole needs a space that is just his. I think he needs a space where he can tune out or tune in to whatever his brain wants to absorb. I don’t plan on joining him when he is watching the science channel. I want to give him a safe space to think freely.
While I’m busy daydreaming about race day, Chet is dreaming about milk and balls, and Christian is dreaming about beer, bikes, and surfing, Cole is busy dreaming about his place in this world. He is busy defining his own reality where he can comfortably exist. He’s establishing his value system. He’s trying to make sense of why the world works. He’s searching for connections with people.
Perhaps my eight year old is a dreamer just like the rest of us. His babbles are his dreams out loud. He wants to understand love, he wants experience love, and he wants to know why it all exists.