I filled a glass syrup jug with water and whistled for Adela’s amusement, presenting it like a really neat trick. Then I said, “Wait! Let me show you what happens when I put MORE water in! What do you think’s gonna happen?”
Adela answered, gleefully: “The sound is gonna come out higher!”
Did she intuit that? Is she a musician? Am I too easily stupefied?
It’s not just Adela; I believe in the innate wisdom of children and see shreds of evidence that genius is endowed at birth, and fades, erodes, gets clouded over the more layers of culture are laid on top of it. Most important of the faculties we’re equipped with is INTUITION. We, in our new age movements, in our coaching circles and manifesting meetups and writing workshops, ply an ounce from the breast of our own INTUITION and celebrate our AHA! moments.
But imagine a steady stream! That’s the brilliant mind of a child. It runs clear and unpolluted, until…
Well, it looks like this family has a handle on cultivating intelligence—allowing it to flourish and fruit to its potential by leaving it undisturbed—call it Wild Intelligence.
Anatomy, biology, acoustics, entomology, medicine, structural engineering… We’re hypothesis-forming machines, and there’s an existential frustration that accompanies unanswered, or untested hypotheses. There’s a buildup of residue.
I’ve seen two recent posts on different Facebook parenting group pages by parents who ask, “HOW in the WORLD do I get my TODDLER to stop asking WHY?”
And I’m thinking, the question is, how do I get my toddler to NEVER stop?
The GOOD thing is, residue can be removed—either by returning to a familiar primal or precognitive state, through immersing in nature, dunking in the ocean, hugging your mom, swinging on a swing… or by leaving your comfort zone for a new sensation or sport that demands your full participation (a.k.a., flow psychology as defined by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi).
I’m just buzzing with excitement over every one of our child’s discoveries or proofs; I’m staring into a mirror that reflects my own evolution, so it’s a self-study, as well, of how I got to be who I am; how the world shapes us; and maybe reminds me of some innate potential I’ve let become obscured by clouds.
Almost every parent is motivated to correct for mistakes that have been made in our own lives, and to filter information and chemicals that may reach our child—with my own body I filtered Adela’s intake for the first years of her life. And why not add intelligence-boosting “vitamins” to her “diet”?
In the most recent case, we’re inheriting a piano! I am absolutely thrilled, because David and I have been hoping for a miraculously priced, used upright piano to float into our sphere. We saw a flyer and phoned, but it had already been taken; we point wistfully to piano stores as we pass them, and wonder aloud whether they sell reconditioned pianos and how much one could possibly cost; we admire our friends with uprights in their living rooms… we’ve bided our time until our chance to play came. Sure enough, a fellow synagogue member is giving away a white upright piano, and we just need to get it moved THIS WEEK! (I need a Kickstarter campaign just for that. But anyway…)