I think all kids go through the stage of believing if they can’t see you, you can’t see them. One of my favorite memories of Eric was from a time when he was about three years old. We had a friend living with us for about six weeks as she was going through the process of moving into a new home following her divorce. Erica and her little girl Allie were staying with us and Allie’s favorite snack was Disney Princess Gummies. Eric had spied a bag lying on the floor of the room they were staying in, next to his, and surreptiously slipped the bag into the waistband of his pjs to sneak them back to his room. As I was putting towels into the guest bath, I passed his bedroom and glanced in the doorway to see him sitting on the bed, quiet as could be. I paused to watch and began to smile as he very carefully had placed a blanket over his head and upper body, like the invisibility cloak in Harry Potter, and was savoring each of those contraband purple Snow Whites and yellow Cinderellas. He couldn’t see me, so apparently he had became invisible to the world in his little mind.
I noticed this with one of my students as well a few weeks back. Depending upon his mood, he either came with me willingingly, grabbing my hand and running down the hall to speech therapy or screaming and hiding in the housekeeping section of his classroom. I always prefer the first. So I had to laugh when Wednesday morning rolled around, and I extended my hand to invite him to join me in my little office full of Mr. Potato Heads and bubbles. He gave me a shy smile and stepped forward, then faked me out completely and bolted to the kitchenette in the corner. I followed dutifully and found him motionless and stuck to the wall, splayed in a spiderman-like pose. He even tried to hold his breath, convinced he blended into the milky white walls, never thinking that his jet black hair and mocha colored skin might give away his “hiding” spot! After I made a production out of asking his classmates if they had seen their friend anywhere and pretending to look for him with under tables and in crayon boxes, he started to laugh. We were both giggling by the time I peeled him off the wall and headed out the door. The magic of thinking you can walk through the world invisibly will end soon enough on it’s own, so for now, I think I will just play along.
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