Philosopher Kids

Have you guys seen this video from the NYT?  Kelly O’Brien, an independant film maker shares this small film she made about questions her daughter has asked her over the years (‘Can girls be robots? ‘Why do trees just stand there?)  It makes for a divinely lovely mini-doc. As O’Brian says in the article One day the flow of questions will stop, but of course even as adults we’re still searching for the answers.

Aiysha was the first to send it to me and we both waxed lyrical about the absolute truth of it. This may be my favourite thing about being around little people she said  and I totally agree.

Children really are the true philosophers of life.

They see with the eye of truth and speak without the inhibitions of world weary experience.

ln a single breath their questions of why’s can range from the most mundane to the utterly phenomenal and the beauty in it is that for the child each ‘why’ holds exactly the same weight in wonder.

In not just their questions, but often in the answers they come up with themselves to make sense of the world, is the best kind of magical logic. My daughter (then two) told me once that a half moon was a cut moon which somebody, (who Mama?) must have decided to make with their skissors.

Their observations can come so unexpectedly, in the middle of a bath or through a yogurt smeared mouth and crush your heart in sweetness more than a love letter from your beloved.

And sometimes they speak poetry itself. My son, Ismail, at the age of four on what he loved about me:

‘I love so many things of you… I love every word of you’

Granted, I’m a little biased, but I never heard poetry more beautiful!

Image Credit: Paper-cut-art by Zarina Teli

What curiosities do you remember of your own childhood before self editing caused you to lose that wild abandon most children have naturally? No censoring, no hiding, heart as shining on the outside as it is on the inside, no agendas except to be and to learn to be.

Tell us the profound or unexpected  things your child has said that made you laugh or cry or both? We love hearing about the most thought-provoking observations from the little people in your lives! 

“My heart is so small

it’s almost invisible.

How can You place

such big sorrows in it?

“Look,” He answered,

“your eyes are even smaller,

yet they behold the world.”


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  • Reply Sanja baji March 27, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    Dear sum

    Kids are really philosopher,honest, innocent people ,we can say that kids live life with high thinking.

  • Reply A March 26, 2017 at 10:30 pm

    My daughter once asked (at age 4) “Did Allah know my name before I was born?” I replied “yes” and then she asked “even that I didn’t have a name for a bit?” (As it took a few weeks until we could agree on a name).

    • Reply Sumaya March 28, 2017 at 5:27 am

      That’s so adorable! Those existential questions are the best. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply Aiysha March 25, 2017 at 7:55 pm

    My favourite is when children start to consider who they are and how they are. Some of my all-time most cherished questions are Who was I before I was me?, Where was I before I was here? and When you die, do you go down into the ground or up to Allah? <3

    • Reply Sumaya March 28, 2017 at 5:29 am

      That turn of phrase – ‘Who was I before I was me?’ is so lyrical 💛 Beautiful Mashallah!

  • Reply Alice March 25, 2017 at 5:53 pm

    I loved the video. I think she is the same mother who had that video about her child with special needs. What a wonderful artist and caring mother mashallah!

    Toddlers can be pretty funny in their innocent love and curiosity! My little Hamza a few weeks ago had a cold and he goes: ‘Does mama have yucky in her nose? Noooooo! Mama has only perfume in her nose!’ <3

    • Reply Aiysha March 25, 2017 at 7:47 pm

      I would love to see her other video. She is such a beautiful and thoughtful film-maker. Is it also on the NYT site?

      • Reply Sumaya March 26, 2017 at 2:31 am

        It is actually! It’s called ‘my brother teddy’

    • Reply Sumaya March 28, 2017 at 5:31 am

      Alice – that’s soooo cute & totally made me laugh!

  • Reply M H March 25, 2017 at 5:48 pm

    Loved the article, the kids’ questions and poetry, and also definitely the loveliest art by their​ lovely Khala – all the art, each time mashaAllah!! (More so this time, since it preserves such beautiful poetry! 😍)

    • Reply Sumaya March 28, 2017 at 5:31 am

      Aw! Thanks M H for such a sweet comment ❤️

  • Reply Vanessa March 25, 2017 at 1:51 pm
      Loved this one so much! What a beautiful way for a son to describe his love for his mom!
    • Reply Sumaya March 28, 2017 at 5:32 am

      Glad you enjoyed the post ❤️

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