Watching how my six-year-old nephew guoguo live his life was real fun.
One day, Guoguo showed the whole family his latest painting called My Garden – Night, it was beautiful. Dark sky, bright moon, big firefly hanging on a dead wood as street lamp, a small lotus pond, an over-the-river cottage for the fisherman, tree with birds as residents and a big piece of wood lying by the side. Then grandma asked “guoguo, why a piece of wood lying there?”, guoguo responded eagerly “it’s for the birds to keep food, they have put a lot of worms in the wood already so that they won’t be afraid of winter!” then everyone laughed. What a magic world in this little head!
“What would you draw for your garden? ” Suddenly my brother threw the question at me knowing I must have my own version since I won a drawing competition in my city when I was about guoguo’s age. Yes, I was quite talented then, and no, I have no idea what beautiful things to draw now, not even when I close my eyes. My garden is filled with files, proposals, clocks, cellphones, laptops…that’s with no smell, no taste, no feeling.
That night, I was sad. I have lost the little six-year-old in me.
Every time after I played with guoguo, he would surprise me out of the blue by kissing me on the cheek and yelled with joy “I love you, gugu!”. Or come to ask me to read stories while lying in me like I was his sofa, or blowing air softly on my wound to comfort me.
His small gestures and simple words touched my heart. Then I thought about myself, I used to do that to my mom when I was little, lying in my mom’s arms craving for stories; hiding in mom’s body in winter like she is the most warm and comfy blanket; holding and kissing her after she put on new dress for me…Now, those memories seemed to be so far away like time has created so much space between me and the ones I love. Same mom, same me, but I hardly hug her and tell her how much I love her.
Where has the little six-year-old me gone?
One day, guoguo told me “gugu, can I marry Lili when we grow up?”, “who is Lili?”, “my girlfriend in kindergarten.” “Oh, why do you want to marry her?”
“Because I like her, I like to play with her.” Guoguo said it while still playing with his lego set like the answer was so simple and obvious.
Yes, wasn’t that the simplest reason for love, enjoy the happiness of being with each other. But why the reason we had become so complicated when we became twenty-six : How much? How many? How big? How far? How old? How…..”
What happened to the six-year-old in us?
Many people learn soft-skills to be able to connect better with others, but little do we know how good we were at soft-skills when we were six, when we were able to tell what we truly feel! As we grow up, we are trained with logic, common sense, rationales and rules, we work by that, we made decisions by that, we even love by that. We think more but hardly feel; we live by head but hardly by heart.
The world will not stop for us, but it’s our choice to take a moment to relive the most innocent and true self – the little six-year-old in us, the source of our power and happiness.