Kids’ Existential Observations

So today, I took my son (age 10) and his friend (age 8) for lunch and ice cream after they attended Apple Camp (which was totally amazing – by the way).

Typically, in this type of scenario I would relatively disengage and immerse myself in work related tasks that I could accomplish in this setting, such as checking email. However, this time, I decided to take a beat and tune into their conversation.

The boys discussed the topic of reincarnation. They both expressed wonder regarding if one passed away and then experienced reincarnation if they would exist as part of the same family.

They went on to theorize about loved ones in their own lives, and whether reincarnation applied. In my son’s case, he talked about his beloved kitten, Connor, who passed away at six months old. He made the connection between Connor, and our recently adopted kitten, Spot. He observed that around the time when Connor passed away, Spot was born. As a case in point to familiarity with our family, he theorized that Spot felt comfortable right away in our house and with us. This idea seemed to bring an enormous sense of serenity to him, in a way that I hadn’t witnessed before.

In parallel, his friend mentioned that his mom always tells him and his brothers about her late father. He passed away when she was a young teen, many years before she had her children. He keenly noticed that the characteristics that she describes about her dad are things that his younger brother always does. How all the things she said her dad liked, his younger brother likes. He repeated his discovery a few times, perhaps in slightly different ways, but in all cases his smile revealed remarkable joy.

My take home lesson from this experience was that sometimes we need to take a break from what is seemingly important to be present for what truly is important – our insightful kids.

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