As I was dropping my son off in his kindergarten room he was quizzing me about how and why rental cars worked. I don’t know where the question was sparked; I know better than to ask.
As I was unpacking his bag and helping him shove his oversized lunchbox in his cubby, I attempted to answer his question with a definition. He screamed at me and said: “no, mom you have to tell me something that my brain can relate to!”
So while he has not fully developed his empathy gene, on this, his sixth birthday, he has shown an equally primal need we humans have. One for the analogy and metaphor.
I told him it was like an airplane. Not everyone can afford to buy an airplane (he can understand that especially since we do not have one) but you can pay to fly in one. I said some people can’t afford cars (or choose not to have/use them and ride their bikes like his dad) so rental cars are there when they need them without having to pay for them every day.
I may have found a better analogy if I didn’t have 1.5 seconds to respond. It was enough to relate to his brain- he had a visual image (the plane) to anchor the explanation, and he then “bridged” it to understand that which he didn’t get- what renting a car meant.
(side note: I was then informed by his classmate, the Alex P. Keaton of the class, that he owned 100 shares of American Airlines. I wanted to use the analogy that it’s sort of like owning a dumpster of trash, but I restrained
So today as I pour through a 125 page power point presentation for a client, readying myself to help them distill it down into a something resonating in 10 minutes or less, I’m glad I had a morning story workout with my son.
What a lovely gift back to his mom on this birthday.