Parenting the New Kids on the Block

Care and Maintenance of Your Crystal, Diamond, or Rainbow Child

Superheroes, Pirates, and “Different Heads”

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My Lily is always amazing me with her ability to pack a ton of insight into such a small body. When she was about three, we were eating at Chipotle, where I noticed a bodybuilder a few tables away. I quietly pointed him out and said, “Wow, that guy has such huge muscles! I’ll bet he eats really healthy food.” (Good mom! Work in a lesson about health eating, right?) Without batting an eye, and very matter-of-fact, she said, “I’ll bet he’s a superhero.” Whew! That’s the kind of magical world she lives in.

After dinner, we walked around the Plaza, a beautiful outdoor shopping district in our home town, where we met a one-eyed dog and his one-eyed owner. We always talk to a dog’s owner before petting a strange dog, so we got to talking. Lily was curious about what happened to the dog’s missing eye. The owner said it got sick (cancer), but that once the doctors took it out, the dog was fine and acted like he never missed it. It was a very sweet dog, so we petted it and chatted for quite a while. The subject of the owner’s eye (same eye as the dog :-), covered with a patch) never came up. Interestingly, Lily was only worried or curious about the dog! For the record, I did not discourage her from asking about the owner in any way, and he was a very nice man, so I’m sure he wouldn’t have minded. She was just more concerned about the dog.

When we got home, I wanted to talk to her about the one-eyed dog owner and disabilities, and how we all have “something” that makes us unique (saving the “karmic intentions” talk for later, of course). I said, “Do you remember the one-eyed dog we met tonight? Did you happen to notice that her owner also had one eye?,” thinking, “What a good mom I am, creating an organic lesson about diversity.” Without batting an eye, she said, “Yeah, I think he must be a pirate.” Well, wow. Of course. How amazing is it that in her world, assets (big muscles) and seeming disabilities (the loss of an eye) can equally make us amazing and interesting?

Fast-forward to age 6. Last weekend Lily and I volunteered at a community kitchen, where anyone who needed or wanted one could have a free, hot meal in clean dining rooms. Given Lily’s high level of energy and short attention span, I wasn’t sure how long she’d last, but I wanted to give it a try. She amazed me, of course. She was great–wore the gloves and the apron, put herself in charge of collecting dirty silverware and cups, helped take pictures of volunteers to send to the President (who asked his supporters to donate their time over the inauguration weekend, and whom Lily LOVES), and endeared herself among the volunteers and many of the patrons. She just shone.

I was struck by the diversity of the patrons who came for a hot meal. It was not at all what I expected–young, old, seemingly middle-class, infirm, educated, sex workers, and a few hardcore homeless. I remarked to Lily that there were all kinds of people there, and she said, “I just realized that, Mama. Everyone is really just the same. We just have different heads.” Profound. This seems to be the hallmark of Crystal children–an acceptance and non-judgement that is truly transformative for those (ok, me) who witness it. They are typically able to see through all the “stuff” and get to the heart of our essence.

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