I was observing our neighbor’s little girl, Sophia, during dinner the other night. She’s become our town’s little princess. At six years old she has the charisma and intelligence of an old soul. I remember being six. I remember it vaguely. I wish I could speak to that little chubby girl, Mildred, and assure her of so many things. I would let her know that by no means she is to give her power, self-esteem, her voice, or anything else other than love to anyone else.
I have few memories of me witnessing the progress of life at that age and marveling at things. The world seemed so magically grand. It was even more magical when my father would show up after long absences. He was my prince charming, never once criticizing anything I did. Then again, how can he be negative if he was rarely around?
The hardest part of being a human is living without losing yourself in it. We are born just for the lessons, struggles and challenges. As children we don’t fear dreaming. There are unlimited possibilities for the future. We can be anything and have everything. Observing little Sophia and her spunk, her lack of reservations and her refreshing innocence I wondered what I would say to myself as a child if I could go back in time. I also wondered where those wonderful tributes vanish to from childhood. During the night I dreamt of that little girl, returning to a specific memory of childhood, standing by the dining room table of an old house in Puerto Rico. The dream turned into this story:
“We spoke briefly last night as I watched her tip-toeing, balancing her chubby body staring at the liquor bottle with the dancer in it that her dad brought home after months of his disappearing act. I laughed at her rhythm trying to be graceful at six years of age and I wanted to tell her to keep trying but I didn’t. I smiled. I laughed. I sat back knowing what I know, speaking short sentences that an intelligent child disregarded as she became enthralled in the dancer and her parents arguing in the kitchen while the French melody from the music box under the bottle muffled the background words. I knelt down to her height staring at the golden bottle while she moved it so the music continued and we shared an intimate moment without words as we knew the outcome of the bottle. We anticipated another Houdini act from the father; another tearful night for the mother. The gifts he always brought were to fill his guilt. I wanted to hold her. I wanted to tell her to let go, to be playful, to not be so responsible; that life has a way of working out. I wanted to let her know she could trust another but to not loose herself in that dependency. I held my breath, touched her long brown hair, caressed her round cheeks and said nothing of the sort. I wanted to let her know that this moment would be implanted in her mind forever — that the dancer will seem like a dream; that she will strive at perfectionism and fail and hurt and despair because she wants to be that perfect, graceful dancer. She will search for the bottle all her life, searching for prince charming to sweep her away. I wanted to let her know she could play hard and long and be a great artist and a wonderful and kind woman one day. I wanted her to hear me say it but I didn’t because those are not her lessons at six years of age. She will find empty bottles with empty dreams and will work her faith to the core to gather strength to continue on her own. I wanted her to know that she will be loved and admired; that all the disappointments will bring goodness. I wanted to warn her about remorse and regrets and not to let them take over her heart; that she will need to forgive many times. I wanted her to understand that life is what you give it not what it gives you; that rules are abstract and cannot be touched but easily broken and to watch her step when breaking one. Everything is a ripple of lessons weaving into another. I wanted to tell her with assurance to truly enjoy the journey, to laugh every day and embrace all diversities. Most of all I wanted to tattoo the light of divinity in her chest. I sat back on the chair and stared harder at the child who was me. I smiled at her beautiful brown eyes and winked in certainty that we will be fine. We will meet again and again as I stare at my own children. I wanted to stay longer and hold her until her deceptions disappeared because I know that she will fight against everything with stubbornness for the rest of our lives. But, I left her there in my dream, in my memory, in my childhood. I left her there where I will love her always; where I can come and go and tip toe as the dancer back to me.”
What would you tell your inner child if you could go back in time? Please share. I would love to hear. May you allow your inner child to stand up and dance today in joy. Love and light always…Millie