Friday’s Child


Friday’s child is loving and giving, so TGIF!  Our children are actually hard-wired to be Friday’s child, particularly when it comes to their “mirror neurons.”  These are brain cells that respond to what they see and repeat it.  These neurons help account for why an eight-month-old, sitting next to the laundry basket, may pick up a dropped sock and place it in the basket (helping mommy, or on rare occasion daddy, via baby-see/baby-do).

To educate means to draw knowledge forth, not to stuff it in; we parents must believe in Friday’s child and therefore help coax them out of their shell.  This is all the more true if a child has any sort of “differences” that make social relatedness or language difficult or delayed.  Think of it this way, our dogs and cats are loving and giving, and so are our plants, and even our furniture and especially our pens (that have learned to sit very still when we’re around so as not to frighten us, but sometimes run around when we’re not looking… which helps explain why things are not always were we left them).

It is a cardinal error of projection to tell newborns (or probably kids at any age) that they are deliberately trying to torment us.  I could be wrong on this (and was the prime offender back in the day), but I think most “get-baby-to-sleep-through-the-night” philosophy is perpetrated by men who believe that this is the only way they’ll ever get sex again.  Moms are much more likely, I believe, to want to have baby close by; they want their sleep, but know that a howling and miserable child down the hall, with a glaring and half-guilty prison guard of a husband barring the door against comforting the baby, does not make for sweet dreams.  It’s best to be loving and giving to baby, to our partners and to ourselves.  Patience and kindness is music to the ears of Friday’s child, and it is also the song on their lips.

Developmental windows close quickly.  One of the biggest assets that seasoned parents have is experience.  This makes them more resilient in the face of sleep deprivation, colic, tantrums and on into the sturm und drang of adolescence.  As one child said, “The sun’s not broken, a cloud’s just in the way.”

So, let’s dedicate today to being mindful of Friday’s child—appreciating their radiance, mirroring their wonderfulness back to them so they can know that it is the honest truth about them, and being loving and giving ourselves so as to see Friday’s child as Wednesday and Thursday’s own “inner kid.”

Namaste, Bruce

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