I recently met a boy who I’ll call Jason. Jason was a very sweet soul. His eyes captured me from the moment we met. They were a deep liquid brown and actually looked as if they were about to overflow at any moment. The entire time that we were together, Jason was the epitome of politeness, laughing at everything I said, constantly smiling. In an attempt to get to know him better, I began asking Jason about his interests. I went down the list of most common games and hobbies for a boy his age and asked if he enjoyed doing any of these things. “No, I’m not allowed to do that,” he would chuckle. A phrase that became very familiar during our visit. I offered Jason a soda and was told, “Thanks, but I’m not allowed to have soda. Water’s fine.” We began to work with clay and Jason immediately asked me if it was “natural,” as he’s not allowed to work with chemicals or artificially made materials. I felt my own chest tightening and my anxiety increasing as I began worrying about what we were going to do next and whether it was something that Jason was allowed to do. I began to understand what a burden Jason was carrying. The joys of childhood didn’t exist for him as life was one barrier or restriction after another.
Over time, we both relaxed and we actually did find some fun things to do together. I could see that energetically, Jason was in trouble. The foundational energy of earth was blocked and brick hard. The effusive and cleansing energy of water was frozen into sheets of ice. His fire energy ebbed so low I could barely palpate it. The higher energies of air and ether were unfocused and chaotic, tossing him about, making it impossible for him to have a sense of internal self-control. I’m confident that over time, Jason will be able to move forward. I was, however, reminded once again that the business of parenting cannot be so serious. For if we saddle our children with too many restrictions and fears, they won’t be prepared to enjoy and savor this journey we call “life.”