Clara has an interesting habit of getting her yesterdays and tomorrows in reverse. I believe this is common among children. To be confused and (if you’ll permit me, with all love and respect) stupid to the point of sounding brilliant and magical.
Take for instance the fact that Clara commonly will approach me and begin telling me a vivid energetic story about something that “happened two days after yesterday”.
I raise my eyebrows at this, and take the opportunity to learn every fragment of physic vision that she has about tomorrow. Although I typically find that tomorrow sounds an awful lot like things that happened just a few days ago.
“Will Granddaddy sit at the dinner table and tell us stories about the future, like you do?” She asked just today. It took some time to discover that she was referring to the stories I tell her about my childhood. I nodded. “Granddaddy has seen more of the future than all the rest of us combined! And I don’t think you have to worry about him not telling you about it,” I assured her.
There is some real mysticism mixed together in her world of chronological confusion. This morning she was telling me about how she sometimes prays for God to let her know what her life would be like when she is older. And she explained that sometimes, not long after talking to God about these things, she will be in a situation and feel like she has been there before. She feels like she knows what people are going to say, and what things will happen and she says it makes her smile, because she believes it is because it is something God told her about in advance, so she would be ready for it. It makes her more confident. She knows that God has been there before.
“Oh?!” I responded in genuine surprise, “That’s very interesting.” And I meant it. Because who am I to say that my daughter’s Deja vu isn’t a gift from God to calm her worried little perfectionist first born heart.
I do wish sometimes that her chronological confusions weren’t so contagious. I occasionally have gotten them mixed up myself recently. And I have to confess, although it may not be the complete fault of my 6 year old daughter, that I made a similar mistake just the other day at work. Knowing full well that the current year is 2015, I repeatedly wrote in a report what I expected conditions to be like next year at a given intersection. “Next year, in 2014,” I stammered on and on like a kindergartner. For some reason it made sense at the time. It was 2015 and the year after 2015 is 2014. After that? 2013 of course. This is how it has always been. Only later did I read my report in a more mature state of mind and slap my forehead in amazement that past James could be such an idiot. Or was it Future James that was an idiot? Or perhaps this is just a vision from God warning me about what I should expect more from James as my brain continues to erode under the constant flow of time and unpredictable explosions of laughter.
Whichever it might be. I will step into it. Open arms. Ready to embrace both the past and future, and all of their delicious joys along with them.