lil bodhicitta

My little guy has become a more eager reader in recent weeks and, as he prepared his own lunch, pointed to his juice pouch and asked if it read “Heart Kids.” When I explained that it was honest, he surprised me by stating, oh-so-matter-of-factly, that it was basically another way of saying heart. And so my heart sighed, as I marvelled at his ability to see into and then extrapolate the meaning of one word toward another that we adults (it is hoped) come to learn are bound up in each other. It takes heart to be honest; and, when we commit to practicing being honest, we are living intentionally from the heart.

We’ve not discussed the definition of either word as part of a formal lesson on reading or spelling. So this moment was a wonderful reflection of the priority we place on modeling our values! We have demonstrated and openly discussed what honesty, heart, and their “offshoots”–kindness, love, fairness, forgiveness, patience–look and feel like. So now he is learning to identify it, even on a juice pouch. Proud mommy moment!

I told him that I love learning along with him because I like the way he thinks. Then my darling boy told me that he loves learning from me because I know everything. I am always honest and remind that I don’t have all the answers. But on this homeschooling journey, I am guiding us toward that which cultivates bodhicitta, the heart and mind of love.

minor wisdom: what my preschooler taught me about “wants” + “needs”

before their shopping trip yesterday, my mate and i discussed our son’s inevitable request for a new toy. i was emphatic that the singular focus and purchase be new pajamas.

but i know my partner and our son very well [that’s my sigh of exasperation you’re hearing] so was hardly surprised when K bounded up to me with his new mini-figure in hand. showing me the micro-catalog that came with the package, he excitedly pointed out the next collectible he wanted to get. new jams + fig

i excused myself to go to the bathroom, so our conversation continued through the open door (’cause that’s how we do):

me: i really don’t think you need all that.

k: i know i don’t need them, mommy. but i like them, which makes me want to buy them.

my mouth fell open! did my on-the-brink-of-5 year-old child really just discern the difference between a want and a need?! And, on top of it, understand that it was his appreciation for the object that sparked his desire to buy it?!

i called K into the bathroom, saying i wanted to see his face. we high-fived, and i told him to kiss his brain (what we say whenever someone has a cool idea or solves a problem) because i liked the way he thought through the idea about shopping for new toys.

i can only hope that the seeds we plant and water in K about mindful consumption will bloom into skillful decision-making  as he navigates the material world.