-A father's note as noticed from his 4 year old little daughter.
It wasn't a regular weekend. My wife and I were completely occupied with meetings and local traveling for two days and came to rest only by 12 midnight on the Sunday night. Our 4 year old daughter was with us for most part and she too got to sleep only by that time. She got to go to school by 9.00am the next day.
12th Jan 2015: We got to wake up by 7.30am atleast to set things right for the day. It didn't happen so. It was 8.00am when we woke up. We could wake her up by 8.30am and she wanted to watch the rhymes video which she has asked me to buy the previous day. She was still sleepy but demanding for the video. We haven't shown her nursery video's for long time now. I knew it wouldn't be possible for me to win over her on the video issue. I allowed her to watch. We weren't sure of sending her to school and we decided not to send her to school that day.
By 9.00am, may be her biological clock indicated her that she should be at school. On a casual note, we indicated her that the kids at School might be preparing for Pongal celebration. May be she realized what she is missing on. May be, she also realized that she should have woken up early to be at School. She started crying, slowly but loudly. It wasn't a regular cry demanding something. It was the sound of a genuine guilt from the heart. Her guilt couldn't settle down soon.
She blames us in many situations where we miss to buy her something. Today, she did not blame us. She was definitely blaming herself. She couldn't stop crying. I offered a hug. She rejected it. Instead, she opted to move a little away from us. She moved to another room. She kneeled down and bent down. With her heads touching the ground, she wept for minutes together. Then, she kneeled towards the Pooja shelf. The shelf was open and we have different idols of God. She folded her hands. She stopped weeping for a second. She then stood up, folded her hands and started weeping again. She was in that posture for a lengthy few seconds. I watched all these without she noticing me. I managed to take a silent picture. Is she praying to God? I am not sure if she knows about praying to God. Her routine with God is just about stopping by and wearing the scared ash on the forehead. Occasionally singing a sloka or touching our feet for blessings. I am not sure if she knows God as someone who could heal her, help her.
She came back to the hall and then we could convince her with food. She was emotionally down for having missed her school. She turned back to silence in about an hour. I was still curious to know of her interaction with God. I asked her once "What did you do at the Pooja Shelf?". She opted not to respond. I did not insist. I know that she will let me know on another occasion.
I left for office before she could completely recover. I requested my wife to ask her about what she did at the Pooja shelf. She asked it to her post noon when she was completely recovered. The little one did not respond. My wife too did not insist. Post noon, her day went on as cheerful as any other day.
I met her again in the evening. We were talking about something and happened to be in the same Pooja shelf room. I sat at the same position where she sat in the morning. She sat next to me. I wanted to make an attempt to get my question clarified. I decided to ask her the same question one last time. "What did you do at the Pooja Shelf today morning?"
This time, I was lucky. She has recovered well to talk about it. She said "I prayed to God. I asked God to take me to School. I also asked God to wake me up early." I was confused, how could a four year old end up to God as her last resort. May be the issue of missing School on the day before Pongal celebration is so important to her. May be the most important thing in her life at that moment.
I asked a follow up question "What did God say?" She said "God said OK. God also prayed back at me." I asked "Why did the God pray at you?". She said " I have God in my stomach. Hence God prayed to me. We all have a God in our stomach. God prays at it". I said OK and discontinued that conversation.
I am still amazed at how could a little girl be so excited about School. May be, her school follows Montessori methods which keeps the children first and respects them. She can't do injustice to the school by missing it. May be she misses all her friends and fun.
I am still amazed at how could a little girl have her own understanding of the concept of God. She knows that God isn't a fairy tale. If so, she should have prayed to Chotta Bheem and not to God.
I realized kids do have strong emotions and a stronger understanding of reality. It is just that adults couldn't see their reality as real. Can we understand what she meant as "I have God in my stomach."?