Lately, Sophie loves to hold her favorite stuffed animal (a pink care-bear) on her lap, facing out, so that she can pretend that care-bear has lost Sophie. “Where’s my mama?” Care-Bear says, getting increasingly desperately lost, in Sophie’s fantasy.
Then it is my job to say, “Turn around, Care-Bear! Just fall down, Care-Bear! Who’s holding your hands, Care-Bear? Who are you standing on, Care-Bear?”
Sophie thinks this is hilarious. She draws this game out for 20 minutes at a time, every day this week, until she finally allows Care-Bear to flop backwards to see Sophie’s laughing face. Sophie is playing with perspective, fascinated by her insight that Care-Bear couldn’t see her, even though she is holding Care-Bear, looking at the back of Care-Bear’s head.
I love it that Sophie already understands that different people see the world from different perspectives. It feels like a major insight, for a two-year-old.
But I thought that was it, until, today at yoga class when my teacher was encouraging all of us to lean back farther than we usually do: “Just imagine that you are supported in a cosmic arm chair,” my yoga teacher likes to say. “There are invisible hands supporting your shoulder blades. We are usually too much aware of our frontal bodies, our personal egos, what we see in the mirror. We forget to notice our back bodies, but the back, metaphorically, is the support of the universe. Feel that support. Lean back in your cosmic arm-chair. Take a little bit more risk, and you may be surprised at how far you can go.”
I decided to pretend I was Sophie’s Care-Bear.