Wednesday, June 16, 2010

ah, the children

“Each second we live is a new and unique moment of the universe, a moment that will never be again. And what do we teach our children? We teach them that two and two make four, and that Paris is the capital of France. When will we also teach them what they are? We should say to each of them: Do you know what you are? You are a marvel. You are unique. In all the years that have passed, there has never been another child like you. Your legs, your arms, your clever fingers, the way you move. You may become a Shakespeare, a Michelangelo, a Beethoven. You have the capacity for anything. Yes, you are a marvel. And when you grow up, can you then harm another who is, like you, a marvel? You must work, we must all work, to make the world worthy of its children.”
—Pablo Picasso

A child of mine is moving back home for a while, finally leaving one university scene and transitioning to another. Yesterday he brought a truckload of boxes from his current apartment to store in the basement. We spent the evening discussing economics, and biologically impelled social patterns, and Thomas Pynchon's latest detective novel Inherent Vice and other topics on his radar. Once he moves in, I'm hoping he'll spend some of his free time with me, exploring, imagining. From my privileged position as parent, I relish the teaching of -- and the learning from -- my children, no matter their ages.