Perception is an interesting concept. And people perceive a wide-variety of shared experiences differently. Adults tend to muddle perception. We complicate things and measure people or circumstances based on our personal standards. Children, on the other hand, offer simple, straightforward perceptions of everything--from what people look like to the meaning of a word. I love the innocence of it.
I recently asked Nathan--who is almost 5--to draw a picture of me. Here is how Nate perceived me on that particular day:
He gave me all of the basic parts a person needs: arms (sans hands), legs (sans feet), eyes, nose and a mouth--a smiling mouth, at that. He gave me brown, unkempt hair, which is spot on most of the time. He also made me stuck in the mud, but gave me a very long pencil. I look happy, which is probably the most important aspect of this masterpiece.
How does your child perceive you? Have him or her draw a picture of you. You'll be amazed by how perceptive even the smallest children can be. In the mean time, I'll continue to try to decipher the meaning of the mud and the pencil.