I am grateful for Aiden. Let me explain.
If your heart is aching or unsure of itself, if the world feels heavy and makes no sense, I happen to know a cure. It’s organic and homeopathic so it will treat the heart, the brain, the soles of your feet and it comes with an infallible guarantee. Follow my instructions closely.
Find a little boy, one who is almost three years old, who answers to the name of Aiden, whose eyes sparkle blue and his hair is clinging to its baby blond by its finger tips, who wears his favourite Blue Jays ball cap a little to the side, unintentionally, and as a result his appearance has a jaunty flavour. When he invites you to his pretend playground that doubles as a foyer in his home, don’t hesitate, accept willingly and wholeheartedly. With his favourite book in tow, make yourself comfortable as best you can. Though your aging bum might groan and your back may whine, stretch out on the floor and tuck wee Aiden under your arm and hold his offered hand tightly and begin to read. When he lays his head against you, up close to your heart, anything and everything that was troubling you will vanish in the space of a heartbeat. I assure you.
I’ve just had such a wonderful experience with my Aiden, my grandson who melts my heart when I watch him play, his imagination well nurtured and encouraged. I am blessed, my three grandchildren absolutely perfect and there’s no grandma bias anywhere in that statement I would argue. Ha ha.
Aiden got me to thinking. If politicians and lobbyists and all those making decisions about the future of the country, of the planet, would conjure up the perfection of their version of Aiden, of a child that means the world to them, I think we would have less slip-ups, our vision would lengthen when we look for solutions and answers to new questions and when we ponder corrections for old mistakes that have yet to be solved.
I recently watched a video of British school children at about the age of six or seven. They were paired up with differing heritage and skin colour; a Downs Syndrome little girl was paired with her non-Downs Syndrome pal, a child with lovely coloured skin matched with a white child and so on. These children were asked what makes them different from each other. Each pair, without exception, was stumped for an answer to this query. They thought and thought, looking at each other with careful scrutiny and could come up with only differences such as preferring skipping over running, living up the hill versus down, but in all other areas of comparison they saw each other as exactly the same and therein lies the hope, therein is the positive core of being human. If we let the child in us outshine the cynical adults we have become, if we plan for a future that keeps all our “Aidens” safe, we won’t go wrong. That is my wish as we begin the next 150 years of being Canadian and maybe, just maybe, our example will spill out and spread around the world.