“I Don’t Know What I’m Thinking but I Can Still Talk”
Kid encounters central problem of modern society and Twitter
On a couple of recent occasions, when Kina has been quite tired or just really wound up, she has marveled that she can’t really get her brain around… her brain. It’s not unrelated, I think, to situations when she’s gotten frustrated with us for talking while she’s thinking—her mind just gets away from her.
I know the feeling, I think. I remember being in my parents’ bed after an exhausting day when I was still really young, staring at the closet and being unsure how to explain to my family that everything was both so very big and so very small. In this way, being a child is like being on acid all the time, and there’s a moment when you become really self-aware all of a sudden, and you can express to others the miracle of consciousness.
They generally don’t get it.
I heard Kina chuckling to herself in her room this morning, and when I went in to see what was so funny, she told me what I have, in the top headline today, just told you. It’s weird to know that you can talk and not think, or think and not talk, or think about one thing and talk about another. To Kina, it’s hilarious. To me, it’s a marvel.
Everybody says “five is special”, and I think this is partly why. Your kid is still a baby, in the sense that they are still just little aliens in our world, but they are also an adult, and they can speak in adult ways, and reflect upon themselves like an adult would. Five is a bridge to a state of being that all of us have forgotten, and we get this back very briefly with our own children.
It is a gift.
The joke here goes that many people speak without thinking—in life, online, at work. The reality of what Kina is trying to express, though, is that she cannot quite express the inner workings of her own mind, which is both funny and tragic, and that you might as well just talk to make the best of your time. I can’t fault her for this; it’s a good experience for both of us.
Kina drew all these things last night with watercolor crayons, smearing them all with tap water to make them dreamy. There had been a peacock, but it was sacrificed for her friend Sloane’s birthday card (more tomorrow on that). She wrote the word Parade all by herself, and I regret to inform you that her own handwriting is better than mine.