Thursday, February 22, 2018

Kavi Vignettes

“Kavi Vignettes”

By Peter Rengel, M.A.

I spent my twenties and thirties seeking “Enlightenment.”  I traveled to India and had four profoundly significant spiritual teachers who helped me to change my inner world forever.  I had given up ever having children in my early thirties because I thought that they would get in the way of my quest.  Little did I know that my greatest spiritual teacher would be my son, Kavi, who is now six years old.  The following stories have become part of our family lore.




Kavi and Big Ben

My wife Donna and I were trying to teach my son, Kavi, who was about three years old at the time, some table manners.  For some unknown reason, he was fascinated with Big Ben and really wanted to visit London just to see it.  I don’t remember exactly how this transpired, but we all started joking about eating at a restaurant near Big Ben, and that Kavi would have to have really good manners there.

So, he would practice his “Big Ben Restaurant manners,” which consisted of him taking a bite of food, putting his fork down and folding his hands in his lap while he chewed, and then picking his fork back up and repeating the process.  To watch a very active three year old boy eat this way was a riot, and he’d play it up to the hilt.

Even to this day, whenever we want him to slow down while he’s eating, we just say, “Let’s practice our Big Ben Restaurant manners.”  And all three of us eat “properly” together, with lots of giggles.

In April, we are coming to visit Paris and London.  We are already making plans to visit Big Ben and practice our manners at a near-by restaurant.

“Hello, Fear

When Kavi was about three years old, Peter and he were out in the hot tub just as the sun went down.  As it got dark, Kavi said to him, “Daddy, I’m scared.:

Peter, wanting to be the best dad he could be, quickly went over his options as to how he could reply.  He could say that when it gets dark, everything is still the same around us, you just can’t see that it is.  But that didn’t feel right.  Then a light bulb went off in his heart.  He replied, “Let’s say hello to your fear, Kavi.”  So, together, they said, “Hello, fear!”  A few minutes later, Kavi said, “Daddy, my fear is gone.”  So, at Peter’s suggestion, they together said, “Goodbye, fear.”

The next night, they were again in the hot tub just after sunset.  Kavi was playing with some toys and not really paying attention to Peter, when Peter heard him say to himself, “Hello, fear.”  Kavi continued playing, and a few minutes later he said to himself, “Goodbye, fear.”

Imagine if we could all so easily accept all of our emotions –

“Hello, anger.”…..“Goodbye, anger.”

“Hello, sadness.”…..“Goodbye, sadness.”

“Hello Bliss.”….. “Goodbye Bliss.”

“Hello sexual turn-on.”…..”Goodbye sexual turn-on.”….etc.

Human Evolution

When Kavi was about 3 years old, we were discussing evolution. We explained to him that many people believe that human beings evolved from apes. Then Peter mused aloud, “Hmm…I wonder what the next step in evolution is for humans?”

After a moment Kavi looked at him and said matter of factly, “Why, Daddy, they become angels, of course!”


Reversing Evolution

One of our Christmas decorations has 3 tiny brass angels who revolve around a centerpiece from the heat of candles, striking a pretty little sound onto a bell as they go.  Peter was assembling this the other day when Kavi noticed that the angels were going around facing backwards (by mistake).

We joked that they were going back in time like when Superman reversed time by spinning the earth the opposite way. Watching the angels revolving backwards, Kavi declared: “Hey, then the angels will have bodies again!”


Not Politically Correct

Donna and her friend Tamara were taking a walk in the neighborhood. Passing through Kavi’s school, they stopped by his classroom to look at the children’s art work displayed in the window. Hanging there were pretty paper stars with wishes for the Holiday season written on them.

One child wrote, “I wish for world peace.” Another said, “I wish the poor would have enough money.” Another, “I wish hungry people would have more food.”

Looking among the stars for Kavi’s (who, by the way, celebrates both Christmas and Hanukah already), Donna finally found his. It said: “I wish for another holiday!”


When Kavi was about five, he began deliberately rebelling against some of our requests, just to test the waters of how much he could defy us.  We tried to figure out how to set consequences for when he disobeys us, but weren’t getting very far.

Donna finally decided to ask Kavi what we should do.  Without hesitation, he said, “When I disobey, you should take sugar away from me for a day.”

We don’t really subscribe to the punishment model, so Donna said, “Do you think it would work just as well if I just let you know that my heart hurts when you defy me?”

Kavi really pondered her idea for a minute.  Then he replied, “Mom, I think taking sugar away will work much better!”

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