my heart looks like your heart

my heart looks like your heart

Saturday, April 13, 2013

handle with care

ian has always named everything he has an affinity for … stuffed animals, wild animals in the yard, plants, bugs, body parts … he has a special bond with our friend callie, who is a grown up, and who does the same naming thing.  when they share their "oh yeah i have a such-and-such named so-and-so" it always makes us giggle, and makes them either high five or exchange a silent "i get you" look that makes my heart overflow.

today i was thinking about how special this is ... and how important.

thinking of everything as a "someONE" and not a "someTHING" creates a relational perspective in which we treat these "someones" as if they are equal to us … all living beings.  granted, a stuffed animal isn't living, and we know that, but assigning a stuffed animal a name, and treating that animal as if it were a live being, complete with feelings, needs, thoughts, and desires, isn't a wasted energy.  in fact, it is the opposite. it allows us yet another opportunity to express love, concern, compassion, and peace.  kind of like practice.  or also like the more we give, the more we have.  like a muscle, the more we use it, the stronger it becomes.  what could be better than strengthening our love muscle, our compassion muscle.  if it makes us remember to be kinder, if it give us more chances to extend grace and concern, then i say we name everything! 

"Kindness is twice blessed.  It blesses the one who gives it with a sense of his or her own capacity to love, and the person who receives it with a sense of the beneficence of the universe." -Dawna Markova

in my home i have always led my children to help bugs back out to their natural habitat, not to squish them.  my kids have grown up thinking and saying "but what about his family?" when faced with a bug squashing moment.  i never named the bugs, but i wanted them to think before acting, and to consider that just because we are bigger than they are, that doesn't give us the right to determine if they live or die or hurt or become maimed.  just because i don't like them perhaps in the house, that doesn't mean i should take their life into my own hands.  anyway, they were there long before we came along and disrupted their habitat and built a house where they first lived!

in addition to our five pets, ian has  a stuffed pepper named jose, a polar bear named noodles, a bear named puz, a plant named melvin, a wild rabbit that lives in our yard named kevin, one eye named tim, one eye named tom, one nostril named jim, one nostril named joe, one ear named bob, one ear named alfonso.  at one time or another he has also named his shoes, pens, notebooks, blankets, birds outside, cars, crayons, and probably at least half a dozen other things.  i sometimes get the names wrong, but he never does.

some people judge stuffed animal friendships as somewhat unhealthy or relegated to a particular time span of a child's life.  but i would like to point out that such lovingness and concern, from a child for his furry stuffed companion, are more of what this world needs.  why would we want to put a limit or regulation/stipulation on any act of loving?  why limit ourselves in the number of opportunities to love or care … 

“It matters not who you love, where you love, why you love, when you love or how you love, it matters only that you love” - John Lennon

i am inspired today, to breathe life and love into all creatures, both animate and inanimate ...

to look at ian in a way i haven't looked at him before, even though i would have thought that i have looked at him in every way possible by now.

i admire his heart.  so big in his tiny little body.  so full in his young little life.  so awesome in terms of awe inspiring or awe invoking.

i would like to put a sign on every person.  a sign on every creature:


  1. How come I do not know you? You sound like the "blue-bird and butterfly person" I am (as Callie said she had described me to several of the Mean Mommies). This is a lovely post and your tribute to Callie was so "right on. I have forwarded it to all those who sent condolences to me. We spend our Wednesday and Thursday nights together at my office. As I review our bond, I could identify with much of what you said.

  2. thank you so much for reading and for sharing ... i just posted also:
    which speaks more specifically about how callie inspired me.
    please feel free to reach out to me at any time

  3. I was just able to read this today. Thank you. So beautiful. So you. So Callie. <3