One of the few things I can do to hold Anjali's attention is take her out to the park nearby where there is a large sand pit. I try to impress her with my versions of sand castles which are primarily square blocks of sand with deep moats on all four sides. To keep her occupied for the longest and also to delude myself that her first brush with engineering and architecture was thanks to me, I tell her how to embellish the castle with flags, twig bridges, shells and so on. So she goes on many forays for each of these items and sometimes comes up with some more stuff she finds.
This works out well for me as she goes off on long collection drives that take up much time, which is actually my primary objective -to keep her occupied doing safe things while in my view without taxing me too much. She obviously enjoys collecting all the stuff, putting it on the castle and making up really elaborate structures. After all that effort, as we sit admiring the work of art, she quietly slides her foot and crashes one part of the castle. Just like that. There is an impish smile. And then some more parts go down. When I ask her why she is knocking our masterpiece down she simply says 'We'll build it again.'
I guess this is something only kids can teach us. This non-attachment, this complete lack of a need for appreciation, this beating on the chest at every effort, this wonderful consciousness of knowing that you can throw it all away and rebuild it again, just as we did before. What a wonderful attitude to have of life, if we could just do something with all the care and love we have, then just tip it over and shrug and say, 'Oh. we can do that again'.
I believe the Tibetan monks do that with their exquisitely made mandalas. Wonderful thing!
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