Monday, November 8, 2010

Recognizing the Meal

Given the opportunity to speak and to be heard, children are amazing philosophers and thinkers. Their unique perspective on the world sometimes takes one's breath away with its accuracy, poignancy, and truthfulness. Their ability to see the world through an unclouded lens is refreshing. It is rewarding to hear or to see one of these rare glimpses into the deeper minds of children.

Pax has very few spoken or signed words right now. He says "Mama" and often waves to people. He imitates "Hi!" but only if he's in the mood. He'll sign "more," and that's a cute one - it's usually in the context of "more toys! More playing! More fun!" And he has one other sign that he uses mostly in the morning - "Eat, eat eat!" He gets excited to see his high chair and helps drag it into the kitchen; as I load him into it, he signs to me, Eat! Eat! Eat!

Last Sunday at church as I led our family up for communion, I was holding Pax on my hip while guiding Leo toward the altar with Aidan trailing behind me. All of a sudden, I felt Pax shift in my arms as if to get my attention. When I looked down at him, he was looking right at me and signing, Eat! Eat! Eat!

Pax, merely 13 months old, recognized the meal we were about to receive. He does not take communion, but in his sign, he was saying, "I recognize this! I know what we're doing! We are receiving a meal!" He continued to sign, over and over, eat eat eat until I whispered into his ear, "Yes, Pax. This is a meal. I am going to eat."

In its purest and most basic sense, I was fed and nourished - by the tiniest one at the table.


Laura said...

Hello Mrs. Carter!
I'm not sure you remember me but I was one of your students at SEP in Summer of 2009. I took your blogging class. I was also one of those who left early because of swine flu. I just signed back on to my trusty ole' blog to read about the memories and challenges of that summer. I have now kept up with my blogging but have turned it into more of a private jourrnal. A way for me to keep record of my thoughts and feelings without hand cramps. While I read through some of your blog I noticed how you talk of "Pax" which to me was the baby you were pregnant with during my class. I just wanted to leave you a quick comment to thank you. I wanted to thank you for the countless amount of time you helped me with showing versus telling. Now in English Honors while the rest of the class scrambles and groans about how confusing it is, I am already halfway done with a masterpiece of my own. Thank you for that lovely concept. (:


Anonymous said...

Laura!! I hope you'll be able to see this comment... I need to track down your blog/email address....

You made my day! Thank you so much for taking the time to find me and leave me such a lovely note. I can't tell you how much it means to teachers when they hear that they've made some impact on a student (big or small!) I'm so glad that you are able to use concepts from the course in your writing now - and clearly, you do. You write reflectively and with clarity and humor - my favorite kind of writing.

Keep writing - and thanks so much for your kindness.


Gretchen said...

Out of the mouths or "signs" of babes. This story of Pax in church with was such a joy to read.
Thank you for writing.