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Childhood Decides

The philosopher, Sartre, said that all of psychology can be distilled into two words - childhood decides. To some the past is a plague of the soul. Yet a scientist recently told me that the past does not exist. It's an ephemeral apparition that exists solely in our minds.

Childhood does decide..with that three words...perception, perception, perception. The child perceives and the adult continues to act on these perceptions as if he were still the child.

It was not a pretty year! I felt I had dealt with everything and after all, everyone was literally dead so there would be no hugs, kisses, and make ups. All through the year two lines of a poem kept popping in my head..would not leave me alone. It was from this “I Weep for the Children” came, changed to something much bigger than me.

I weep for the child, no bigger than my knee,
I weep for the child, who long ago was me.


Finally toward the end of the year “I got it”. I had to divide myself into two. The hurting child and the analytical adult with a lifetime of observations and experience. This adult had to lead the way for the child to heal.

A child most always perceives there is something wrong with them. The adult in me placed the child in the center, surrounded by the people involved. The adult analyzed each from an unemotional point of view. Where were they coming from? What was their life experience that brought them there? Many, many questions. Like watching a movie or reading a book where all the characters converge. There was no whitewash of the behaviors involved. A simple understanding. What I learned was they were a product of what had gone before in their lives. It went much, much further..too long to put here. In the end I wrote it all out. There was something about putting it all down on paper that brought it all together and allowed the healing to begin. I saw the mistakes throughout my life where the perceptions of the child had sent the adult down the wrong path, and if that were the case in my life, so it was in theirs. This understanding has allowed a peace I never knew could exist, although there are still twinges here and there. Boiled down here it seems a lot simpler than it was.

Every child's sorrows, big or little, are important because the innocent perceptions, and sometimes the outright abusiveness of their world will affect them all of their lives and all the lives they touch.

I am reminded of a story my son told me not too long ago. It seems he and his wife, along with their grandson, were shopping for a new television and debating LCD versus plasma. My son had just made a simple statement that they needed to move to plasma. Their grandson became very upset and in trying to find the reason...he began sobbing “Why are you moving? I don't want you to move!” He has had some experience with moving.. times that changed his life, if even for the better..times he felt the pain. So when Grandpa said moving, he felt that pain and sadness again. Many times there is no loving Grandpa to kiss the tears and fears away.

Innocent children...innocent observations....innocent decisions...carried forth.
Love and protect the children and the child within you.

Cecelia 2009