Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Bath-time Bob Sleigh Run

This evening, my daughter played a recurring game in the bath. Our bath has two handles, one on each side, half-way down the length of the bath. She holds on to the handles, and slides forwards and back: forward and back three times, "1, 2, 3"...then forward with a "Wheeee!", as far as she can go, feet ending up between the taps...forward and back, forward and back, now sliding up the sides of the bath - to one side, then the other, and back again and again, as she goes.

This is Susannah's game. She invented it, when she was 10 months old, having seen the bob-sleigh teams compete at the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. 10 months old - and she still bob-sleighs in the bath at 44 months. (Even better, the bath is white! The game is fun when the bath is full, water sloshing with gathering momentum until it breaks over the end and spills onto the floor...even more fun when the water has drained away and the surface of the 'run' is lubricated by bubbles.)

I find it amazing that something she saw on TV as a baby should have such an impact on her all this time later. Who would have thought it? The human mind is incredible; and it is fascinating how images we see shape it. I'm not saying that she will grow up to compete on the bob-sleigh run (though, who knows?); that it will shape her future, or change anyone else's. Just that there is a deep - and sometimes highly unpredictable - connection between what we see and what we do.

And sometimes what we see causes us to do something that really does change our future - mine, my daughter's, and my son's; yours; and that of people we will never know, and of their children whom we will never know either. Please, please go to the Make Poverty History site, and take part in a monumental team effort - that will inspire countless children to dream big dreams in the bath.

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