Life is a world of wonders with endless opportunities. Every door is open for our children. And as much as we want our children to feel that they CAN do anything they want. It is usually us, same adults, who tell them, “No, you can’t do that.”
Why? Because it is dangerous, scary, not safe, not right, wrong, their too young, too little….
So far, In my own short time of being a mother, I have found that my sons are almost always ready for new challenges. Even ones that seem beyond their zone of proximal development. They are fully capable to master anything they set their mind to. I often need to remind myself, let them try! Give them a chance. And you know what? They blow me away. This reminds me of a Pataki about Esu. When Esu was just a young child, he was also underestimated because of his youthfulness. But those little ones learn very quick. And who do they learn from? US!
There was a time when Olodumare, Creatrix of the UNIverse, was feeling ill and depressed because of situations that were spreading in all directions. After doing so much and constantly giving Ase to the world, while the world would tear itself apart, She started to feel weak and frail. A message was sent out and to all the Orisha, summoning them to bring whatever tools they needed in order to help cure Olodumare and Her dilemma. Soon, all the Orisha gathered together in a great hall where Olodumare sat slumped in Her thrown. They brainstormed methods that could help cure Her.
Obatala was the first to attempt. He took out sacred efun chalk and his whitest cloth. He then used it to wipe around the face of Olodumare…..there was no effect. Next to try was Orunmila, the Orisha of wisdom and divination. He prepared a special medicine for Oloduamare to drink, but still there was no effect. Next Osanyin, the Orisha who cared for the plants of the earth, took out an herbal rub and covered Olodumare completely. That also lead to no effect. Every orisha tried one by one, and still nothing seemed to help.
Esu, who was just a child, was watching from the balcony above when he felt his confidence rise. He quickly rushed down and approached the Elder Orisha. Esu being still very young, had a difficult time being heard because the elder Orisha gave him little attention. He first pulled on Yemonja’s flowing skirt to get her attention. “Yeye, Yeye! May I try?” She told him to be quiet and behave, this was not a job for a child.
Esu then made his way through the crowd where he ran into the strong legs of Oya. She gave him one look and Esu went running till he found himself hiding between the legs of Obatala. Obatala looked down and Esu gazed at him with eyes full of determination. “Please Baba, let me try to help.”
Obatala told him, “You are just a child, the other Orisha are doing their best. Just be good and watch.”
Esu quickly responded, “ I am Orisha too, I deserve a chance.”
Obatala smiled at Esu and raised his staff above the crowd, ordering silence.
“Everyone move aside, Esu is going to take his turn.” The crowd of Orisha’s began to whisper among themselves as Esu approached the throne.
As Esu looked over Olodumare from head to toe, he pulled out his knapsack and climbed up onto the lap of Olodumare. Olodumare, weak and tired did not move at all as Esu settled into Her lap. The crowd began to whisper louder in their complaints and look over at Obatala for allowing such a mockery.
Esu opened his sack and pulled out three different herbs. He had often followed other Orisha into the forest and observed the different plants they picked and used for different uses. He took a leaf from each branch and placed them in the mouth of Olodumare. He then used his little childish hands to manually open and close Olodumare’s jaw, to chew and break down the herbs. The crowd dropped silent and looked at Obatala, seeing how long he would allow such a thing to happen. After Olodumare swallowed the herbs, Esu took out the feather from his hat and swept it all over Olodumare’s body. And when he was finally finished, he jumped off the throne and walked back to Obatala, whose face was covered in grief. Everyone watched Olodumare’s unchanged posture and immediately began to yell about Esu’s tactics, saying it was unforgivable and that he should be reprimanded for them.
All of a sudden Olodumare began to rise. She stood so tall no one could see Her face, and She began to glow with such powerful light that everyone fell to the ground covering their face.
Olodumare called to Esu to come forward. She thanked him for what he had done. She asked him how he had healed Her. Esu responded that he would follow the Orisha and study what they do. He now knew all the different parts of the forest and it’s secrets. Olodumare smiled and told Esu that from this day forward he would be the gatekeeper of all doors and pathways. She gave Esu a special key that would unlock every door in the universe. She blessed his feathers and told him that now he would be able to walk forward and backwards through time, light and dark. She then announced that Esu would be Her personal messenger and everyone should count on him in all they do. If Esu was not pleased, then their messages would not reach the heavens. After all of this, Olodumare placed her hand on Esu’s head and he began to glow. Olodumare then sent him off to maintain order in the crossroads of humanity. The kid that Esu was, he faced the crowd and stuck out his tongue and jumped down from the throne, giggling and laughing as he rejoined the crowd.
So to bring us back to the beginning, I want to reflect on the importance of giving everyone a chance to show their capability. Even in the face of failure, everyone at any age has the opportunity to learn. And all ages, from youth to the greatest elder, we all poses ASE!, Power, to do great things.
May our actions be powerful and positive for the future generations to learn and expand on.
Invite your child to take part in some of your own spiritual time. (ideas: Meditate together
Make a prayer song together)
Go on walk and pick leaves and flowers that your child feels has lovely meaning to them. Mix them in water and pray out loud together for something good every time you drop a leaf or flower into the water. Mix together. Wash each other’s hands in the water and finish with a positive phrase (idea: May our hands always have a healing and loving touch. Ase ooooo! )