Sunday, September 21, 2008
The profound insight of children
At night I read in my kids room (using just the light from the hallway--my poor eyes) as they go to sleep. At the moment I am reading the very sad biography of Assia Wevill (A Lover of Unreason), the woman Ted Hughes left Sylvia Plath for. In it there is a photograph of Plath, with her gappy teeth and wary smile. My 3-year-old, Freya, wanted to know what I was looking at, so I let her get out of bed. She stood beside me, gazed at the picture for a moment and then said: "She looks funny." I asked her: "Do you think she looks happy or sad?" "Sad," she answered. Then my 6-year-old son, Griffin, wanted to see. He jumped out of bed and came across the room, looked down at the photograph, and said definitively: "Not sad. Jealous." And got back into bed.
I am still reeling!