My son and I had an interesting conversation last night. As I’ve admitted before, I go to bed in my son’s bed upon his going to sleep (see post: I Can Hear Again).
The exchange actually started day before yesterday in the basement (a.k.a. Toyland) when he asked me, “Mom, did you know your head can talk to you?” By head he meant mind.
I said, “Sure. My head talks to me all the time. That’s thinking.” I left it at that. But last night he and I got into his bed and he started the conversation again.
He said, “Mom, my head talks to me a lot.”
I asked him, “What is your mind saying? Is it nice or mean?”
He said, “It is mean.” It tells him “shut up” and stuff. So now I figure this is the age negative self-talk begins, for him at least.
First I had a couple of questions. “One, whose voice is it?” I silently pray, Oh God, have I already messed the kid up?
“I don’t know,” he replied.
“Is it male or female?”
“Male.” Whew, not me.
“Does it sound like Daddy?” I asked.
“No.” Whew again.
So I told him that he is made up of two parts. One called the “Ego.” This is the part that says nasty things like “Shut-up.” The second is the soul, or the part of him that is connected to God.
I tell him, God never says mean things, only nice. He can control that wicked, old ego by saying something nice every time his mind talks mean. Or just telling it to, “Go away.” I also tell him that most everyone experiences the talk in their head that is not nice. It is normal, but you can control it. And anything the Ego says it not true. Only your soul tells you the truth, it’s called your gut or thinking with your heart.
In the end he said, “I hear it.” And I said, “OK.” And he said, “I mean, I understand what you are saying.”
I said, “I thought you might. But if that Ego continues to say malicious things, let’s talk again please.”
He said, “What’s malicious?”
I said, “Not being nice.”
So we agreed.
You might think that this conversation is a little deep for a five and a half year old. It is. But I believe him that he got it.
My son has such an intricate personality. One minute he is driving me bananas by chasing me around trying to get my attention when I am on the brink of insanity. No amount of begging will get him to hear me when I ask for a “mommy break.” (This is when a mommy closet or bathroom hide-out comes in handy or the laundry room if I’m really desperate – it can get kind of hot in there). But when I talk to him about God or the soul, he hears me loud and clear. He gets it.
And I get to watch him get it. And that’s always nice.