Michael Mendizza

Writer, Filmmaker

Three Moments


Bonding-Attunement, Parenting

At every moment new human beings are fully human. And yet, we somehow and too often underestimate how sensitive, appropriate, responsive and caring very young children are by nature. Very early, before Carly Elizabeth could crawl she was picking single threads off the carpet and examining them by turning the specimen between her tiny fingers. This evening at almost twenty months she was sitting in mama’s lap flipping pages of a book like a librarian. Earlier in the day Carly was climbing up on the back of a leather sofa, walking like a tight rope acrobat and falling-laughing perfectly in my arms. Of course she could have fallen off the other side and broken her leg or worse, but she didn’t. Her concentration and balance were keen. Why should she? There were no distractions.

Carly did have a tumble today. She climbs a white stool next to the kitchen counter where her breakfast buffet is served. I chop various delights like a Japanese Sushi chef; fresh coconut, a sliced strawberry, steamed granola done in the expresso machine. It only takes a second and the portions are pint size. A slice of banana, a cashew or two, perhaps a slice of kiwi or pixie tangerine, a bit of fresh rye bread from the local bakery or pinch of a flax seed blueberry muffin. A white expresso cup serves as her coffee mug, just like my big one, complete with a splash of berry kefir. Most often Carly is barefoot or still in her pajamas. Today she was dressed complete with her favorite rubber rain boots. We were chopping, tasting and sipping and mom joined us. I offered Carly a sip of my coffee, something she rarely refuses. She reached for her white pint-size mug and her rubber boot slipped of the side of the stool. Down she went like Humpty Dumpty, berry kefir and all. Her tears were from the surprise mixed with a dash of frustration. Carly doesn’t like to fall any more than you or I. She was distracted, mama walked in and the rubber boots didn’t help. Distractions can be dangerous. Fortunately this Humpty Dumpty came together again in just a moment or two.

Yes, I could say “no, no, no” to her possibly dangerous adventures. She knows that she could fall. That is part of the excitement. Play often involves risks and play is the act of learning in action. I walk the line between allowing her to discover ‘her’ way and intervening. At twenty-one months assuming competence is challenging. I position myself on the sofa close enough to break her fall but distant enough to allow her to find her balance, take a few steps and fall on the soft cushions below, often in my arms. I am amazed how careful and cautious she is – naturally. I let her take risks within what I consider safe boundaries. When I am anxious or fearful she knows it and respects it. Like a dance partner she follows my lead with trust and confidence. I rarely tell her no.

As I have said very young children are naturally telepathic. They eavesdrop on everything in the womb and don’t stop after popping out. I became aware of this years ago when my two boys were very young. As with most telepathic events we don’t realize that they are taking place until something happens. We might be thinking about a person. The phone rings, and guess who? It was late in the evening. Carly was polishing off eight to ten books in mama’s lap. Short books. I stroll from my office and pass the refrigerator. “I wonder if we should have a night cap of coconut-milk ice cream,” I mused. “No, it’s too late,” I tell myself and walk down the hall to meet Carly Elizabeth walking towards the refrigerator pointing her finger at the freezer. Ahhh, ice-cream!

We need to appreciate that this level of resonate attunement is going on from the moment of conception. Our state of wellbeing or dis-ease, without having said a word, influences beneath the level of our awareness or the child’s. But it is there – active and ripe with meaning. Knowing this we can set a tone with intention, affection, security, calm excitement and full attention. What was it that Gandhi said; “be the change we want to see in others.” I do this with Carly and I know she is listening even if she doesn’t know that she is listening. Just like the ice-cream.

The usual morning chemtrails were being sprayed high in the otherwise blue California sky leaving long creepy shapes that looked more like stringy cotton poop than clouds. In the news the federal government, there to protect us, approved the release of genetically modified mosquitoes. The Chinese are cloning all sorts of things. The majority of commercial breakfast cereals are contaminated with glyphosate, the endocrine and fertility disrupting herbicide that we apply, 1.4 billion pounds per year, to our food, soil and water. Is it any wonder that over 90% of the Great Barrier Reef is bleached, quite possibly fatally, by slight but dramatic changes in temperatures? War drums pound their usual beat and the social-political circus is head-spinning like Rosemary’s Baby. With this insanity as context I wonder what kind of world Carly Elizabeth will face and how can I possibly prepare her for this Brave New World. How can I help her face such madness without despair?

The last phrase of the Constitution of the Iroquois Nation, what is known as Seventh Generation (The Great Binding Law) says: “Look and listen for the welfare of the whole people and have always in view not only the present but also the coming generations, even those whose faces are yet beneath the surface of the ground — the unborn of the future Nation.” Global consciousness has become so chronically narcissistic, “me now,” that such life-preserving wisdom is all but gone with the wind as Chief Seattle observed long ago. As these thoughts echo Carly Elizabeth taps on my door with an impish smile and climbs to my lap. For months Carly would reach for my white coffee mug and whisper “hahhhh.” Today, for the first time, she added the ‘t’. “Hot,” she said as plain as day. Using the potty, selecting her wardrobe, slipping her pants on and off, saying ‘up’ with extra emphasis on the ‘p.’

Behold, I make all things new again. We have a chance. David slew the giant Goliath. The Phoenix is always rising, transcending! That is what spirit does and we are that. But it is up to us. Einstein stood on Newton’s shoulders. You and I must “be the change we want to see in and for our children.” We need to see seven generations deep. We need to break the dark spell that technocracy weaves. We need to discover who and what we really are and align our values with life instead of texts and dead flickering images. The great gift that comes with mentoring a new human being is that we are mentored in exactly the way we need to be, awakening a rediscovery of what is real and with such innocence. Hallelujah…

Michael Mendizza