The Leaf Fish

The other day as we were leaving a park my son passed me a crinkled yellow leaf that we simply had to take home. This was a daily occurrence, and that day my patience was waning.

“We’ll leave this one,” I said “it’s just a leaf.”

There was fire in his eyes as he responded “It’s not a leaf at all Mummy, can’t you see? It’s a beautiful yellow fish.” He said this as though it was the most obvious thing in the world. “Do you understand why it’s so important now?”

“Yeah baby,” I told him “I see it now.”

This post is to us mothers, all of us, for the moments we forget to see that fish.

Dear Mummas,

I know sometimes we’re tired, and that it’s a little harder to be a dreamer without sleep.

This grown up world we live in is all about reality, but try not to let reality obscure the view today. Peek past it when you can. We’ll do it together.

Pretty much every day small hands thrust treasures at us to take home – a pile of sticks, a leaf, a seedpod or branch. They look like more ‘stuff’, more mess to clean up. But you see the thing is, they’re not sticks, leaves, seedpods or branches at all. The leaves are a school of fish swimming to escape a shark (that frayed leaf was bitten by it), the branches are swords or magic wands… except for that one right there… that one’s a tranquilizer gun to shoot carnivorous dinosaurs. The seedpods are rockets, the seeds the passengers that they’re taking to Mars.

The spilled puddle of water little fingers are tracing around the table is a river, the biro hole in the papaya is an escape hatch for a passing worm. And to a child’s eyes that furniture, oh it is simply aching to be climbed.

Try not to get frustrated by the random moments beautiful mums, like when the ball keeps being sat on during a game of kicking – because it’s obviously not a ball. It’s a blue egg laid by the dragon that lives just over the hill. Your little one is just trying to keep it warm so it can hatch. You would too if you’d seen that dragons fire.

Don’t get so focused on driving to the grocery store today that you fail to notice the magical time portal that just transported you to the Cretaceous period – I bet you understand the importance of that tranquilizer gun now, don’t you?

I know the stories get old when we’ve heard them a thousand times, or the questions have been answered to the point of madness, but they’re still being told because they’re loved, they’re classics. And the answers to those questions – our children colour in their wonderings with them a little more each time.

 There are days when we crave silence like we’re hungry for it, when our kids sound like they’re talking just to bury the peace beneath noise. But that’s their music, for now, it’s how their rhythm is found.

Lets be patient today, with our kids and also with ourselves. Because it is hard, it is tiring, and we really have to grab onto that wonder to stop from sliding into monotony.

Sometimes we forget how big this job is – how important our role is right now. Because when we’re helping a baby open and close drawers, soothing tantrums or wrestling a child into a pair of pajamas it doesn’t feel like we’re changing the world. It’s easy to forget how many lives our little ones will touch, how many people they’ll make laugh, inspire or love. But they will – they do.

Some days reality clouds the view too much for us grown ups, and we fail to see the snowstorm in the dishwashing bubbles or the boat in the laundry basket. We can though, and our kids know it – their imagination is bright enough to spark our own. That’s their job, and it’s just as important as ours. Just as important as the leaf fish.


 Copyright Nirvana Dawson 2012