Words can be unbelievably enchanting, without us being able to fathom the power they have over us. Smiles and tears essentially define the essence of human existence. During our moments of sadness, words can be extremely gratifying and help ease the pain. And we may be surprised out of our wits when a healing touch, layered with compassion and unfiltered love, comes from someone who has yet to see and understand the ways of the world!
Here goes my story from 18 years ago. The summer holidays had begun, and I flew all the way to India with my little one. A few days after we reached, my husband called with a devastating piece of news. My son’s second grade teacher had passed away in a car crash.
It was heartbreaking and also a challenge for us to tell our boy that his teacher was no more. We procrastinated for a couple of days and then decided to talk to him about it. As expected, he broke down uncontrollably.
It was the first time that he was hearing about the death of someone he knew. He was angry at us for giving him that news and even accused us of having lied to him. Tears streaming down his cheeks, he questioned how his teacher could have just gone away.
None of us succeeded in pacifying our seven-year-old till my niece Neha, who is a little older to him, spoke out. “There are children in heaven who need a teacher. God loves your teacher and took her away to teach them,” she said.
It was unbelievable, but the words worked like magic. My little one stopped crying and accepted her explanation. Thereafter, although he missed his teacher and talked about her with fondness, he understood that she was gone for a reason.
We as adults had failed to handle the situation. How could we explain death to someone who had not even started navigating through the realities of life? But what we had failed to do was so intelligently and lovingly managed by a child.
Does logic always work? No it does not! We can just watch in awe when children find the solutions to the hardest of problems in the simplest of ways.
And that explains why looking through the eyes of a child sometimes gives the purest joy. Their authenticity and vulnerability are what make the world look more beautiful to them. There is much gravity and truth in this thought-provoking quote by Wait Streightiff: “There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million.”
Life comes to us in a mixed package of moments that set the rhythm for moving along. This incident from the treasure chest of my son’s childhood was soaked in simplicity, sincerity, and warm heartedness, and it had its aura of innocence. I believe it has stayed etched in my mind perhaps because it happened organically. It is nothing else but a small, delicious slice from the mighty macrocosm we call life!