Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Seeing through their eyes

Ever since Milo has entered our lives, I have been confronted with the inevitable fact that adulthood is intrinsically deprived, layer by layer, of the touching spontaneity and free imagination which inhabits childhood and makes life so beautiful.

I keep being astonished by things Milo notices in his surroundings which I have not even bothered registering. We were strolling on a shopping street the other day and I stopped to look at a shoe-shop window. He immediately lounged to the men's shoes section and was intensely looking at mens' soes for a good couple of minutes. When I finally started taking notice and finding a little odd that a two year-old could be entertained for so long by men's shoes, I finally realized that the whole window was decorated by antique car models, displayed among the shoes, as well as posterts etc. I had not even seen them at first, mingled with the shoes.

Yesterday we were coming home from another stroll and while his dad and I were chatting, he was looking up from his stroller into the sky and kept on pointing to an imaginary rocket:

"Razzo...mamma, razzo....razzo!" he kept on warning us.

When we finally bothered looking up ourselves, we realized that he was looking at this church's belltower, whose shape in effect resembles remarkably that of a rocket.

His sense of imagination and observation is so precious...I hope we'll be capable of preserving it and nurture it along the way. Apparently, this same characteristic is also typical of multilingual kids from early on. A paper by Jean Marc Dewaele on "Trilingual first language acquisition" (2000, La Chouette, 31, 77-86), claims that multilingual kids develop a sustained attention for content rather than form, and they are better aware of the arbitrary nature of language.

Hopefully, his multilingualism will also preserve some of this wonderful outlook on life and the ability of seeing beyond the obvious or expected.


Guillaume said...

Jean-Marc Dewaele's paper can be read here:

Lilian said...

Yes, it's really wonderful to "see the worlds through their eyes"! Children are so attentive to every detail - I'm often surprised also by how sharp their hearing is - especially for airplanes, train whistles, the garbage truck, etc... Oh, the joy of boys!

giovanni said...

And I hope you will continue to enjoy your little son's observation and fascination. Tanti anni...
Un abbraccio
P.S. Rifiero al tuo post nel blog mio.

Helene said...

Hi Clo,

Gabrielle saw a wind mill recently and she said : "look, maman, a fan!". That was really cute. I dont think we, as adults, loose any imagination, we just know more things. If you see something new, you try naturally to associated it with something you know. If you were to land on Mars and saw a martien house which looks like an earth cathedral, you would call it a cathedral until told that it's a house (bad example maybe we are lacking imagination after all!!).

See you!

Eddie Lin said...

yes, whatever you do keep encouraging his imagination. ask him what he see if you are curious to know. i was a very imaginative child...until my dad slapped it out of me. just kidding. sort of.