A number of years ago, visiting an elementary school with my daughter, I asked the teacher about the school’s philosophy. He told me every child has been brought into the world for some particular, unknown destiny, and so the whole child needs to be educated to fulfill that destiny.
Destiny and children? When my first daughter was a baby, even then I believed a rich inner life was invaluable. I’m not the kind of mother who bought stocks or purchased a life insurance policy.
Today, I drove through New Hampshire. In the backseat, my younger child worked mightily at her inner life by reading Harry Potter. My nephew, at 11, leaned forward between the front seats, and we passed the time by talking about being present. We are here, he said, and even when we’re up there, ahead, we’re still here. If you think about it, we’re always only here. Only my father enjoys this trend of conversation, so we talked about him, too.
In the mirror, I looked at my daughter with her sun-streaked hair, her tiny blue earrings, so immersed in this book, the first book she’s carried all day, the first I’ve seen her enraptured in pages, deep in the world of imagination.
That’s something, my nephew said, this always hereness. I like it.
A summer river being crossed
with sandals in my hands!