Paulo Coelho in his best-selling book, The Alchemist, writes of children;
“A child can teach an adult three things: to be happy for no reason, to always be busy with something, and to know how to demand with all his might that which he desires.”
COVID-19 hit Nairobi sometime in March. That’s when the Kenyan government put in place preventive measures such as closing down schools and restrictions on traveling. Thus, over the last ten months I have come to find Paulo’s words to be irrevocably true.
Thanks to the pandemic (who thought we could thank it for anything!), I have had the opportunity to help look after my niece and nephew. They are the most adorable and energetic pair of twins I have come across.
Yesterday they pulled an impressive tag-team show. They pushed a chair that would have been too heavy for any of them to move individually. They got on top of it and began laughing hysterically. It turns out they were actually looking at themselves in the mirror! Now, I’m still not sure what it is they were laughing at. What I do know, is that they have most lovable gales of laughter. Devoid of sarcasm or mixed-emotions. Pure bliss.
The house is seldom quiet with those two balls of energy around. Yet from time to time, they go mute. There was a time I appreciated it. The stillness. The serenity. Until one day, I figured since I wasn’t a cat, curiosity couldn’t kill me. I decided to check on them.
They had found a bottle of lotion and had emptied it on their heads. Think of two mega-sized vanilla cones. I learned my lesson. The only way I am safe, when they are quiet, is when they are asleep. Otherwise, they are probably reincarnating MJ – Got to be starting something.
Whereas I am still not able to decipher baby talk, they have made sure I decipher their call for attention. They can go from pin-drop silence to blood-curdling screams in the blink of an eye. There’s no way you can ignore the power of those voice chords. Trust, I have tried.
Intriguing, isn’t it? How creatures so clueless can actually teach us so much about life? About ourselves?
As the days go by, I learn more things from these reflection-laughing, lotion-pouring, eardrum-shattering twins.
I’d like to know, what has your experience with children been like? What have they taught you about life? What have you learned about yourself?