The brain is so amazing. The brain is so complex. Perception is one tiny components that effects so much! I've been thinking a lot about perception lately. Whether it be in working with others in my calling, being a mother, a friend; how I interact with others. Whether it's watching Race interact on the playground with other kids, or reading from a character's point of view in a book. Perception is everything; it's our own individual reality.
Perception (from the Latin perceptio, percipio) is the process of attaining awareness or understanding of the environment by organizing and interpreting sensory information.
Our perception is effected by our past experiences, our feelings, our limitations, our spiritual beliefs, everything. It is so complex. A good friend gave me a quote that is also posted on the sidebar of my blog. I love this quote. "Autism is a state of mind characterized by self-absorption, fantasy and a disregard of external reality." I am always reminded that Race looks at the world so much differently than me...
Last week Race and I walked into Walmart. And you know the big poster as you walk in, it looks similar to this...advertising the last HP movie for sale.
Well I pushed the cart right past it; thinking nothing of it. After all, I've read all the books, seen all the movies, no big deal. But after about 15 feet into the store, I noticed Race wasn't right next to me. My chest tightened for a spit second as I frantically looked around. I calmed as I saw where he was, but I quickly noticed that he was crying as he stood there looking at the poster. People and their carts were backed up, waiting for him keep walking. He stood there, oblivious to everything around him, in tears.
"Race, come on." I called out.
No answer, he couldn't hear me.
I left my cart and went to him. Taking his hand and guiding him out of the way, I asked, "What's up? Why are you crying?" Even though I already know. You see, I've only let Race watch the first three HP movies because I know how the rest of them will effect him. He's too young and they are too scary for him right now. He frequently pulls the books off the shelve and reads bits of all of them. He loves Harry Potter and he and I have almost finished the first book together. So of course, the shock of Hogwarts Castle burning was huge.
"Why is Hogwarts Castle burning Mom?" he asks through his tears.
"Race, we're just going to have to keep reading our books so you can find out."
"Did Voldemort do that?"
"Yes he did."
"Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear..." he cried.
"Race" I say as I kneel down trying to catch his gaze and reach his worried little mind. "It's just a book. Remember? It's not real. It's just a story."
"Why would he burn the castle down?" he asks, trying his best to fight off a melt-down.
"Race, it's all part of the story. And there's a lot of good, amazing things that happen too. And in the end, Harry wins. Harry beats Voldemort."
"Harry wins?" He asks as he starts to calm a little.
We finished our shopping, talking about Harry Potter the entire time. And my heart hurts for my little man. Because his perception is his reality. And in his mind, even though he knows somehow all those things he loves like Harry Potter, Star Wars, Mario, and Speed Racer are not real,...they feel so real, and they are so real at the same time. Just as real as our own physical world.
I look at him, simply amazed. He's fighting this constant battle inside his head between reality and perception. And trying to make sense of it all. And MOST of the time, he wins.
He amazes me.