Dash just took me on a journey, following our second viewing of Encanto, that was sufficiently deep as to remind me of the psychedelic rendering of Coco that my cousin's daughter treated us to on the way to my Grandma's burial nearly four years ago now.
Dash was sitting in the bathtub, asking a great many questions about Bruno, and what certain things meant in the film. Since Encanto really amazingly explores an incredible range of family issues, connections and disconnections--really, I challenge anyone to not see their family in some aspect of the Madrigals--I had a lot of material on which to riff, and Dash kept saying, charmingly: "You can keep talking about Bruno, or anything you want about Encanto!" A few times, when I paused because he sounded like he was on the verge of having a question, he said, "You can keep going. I'll ask if I think of any questions."
At one point he clarified that he was hearing everything I was saying, and he was thinking about it all, and he would tell me if a question popped up. I pointed out that this was a conversation, the kind of thing that his Daddy and I have been trying to encourage at the dinner table, where we think and have ideas together rather than interrupting, hooting or clowning around.
He said something particularly amazing, and I went over to high-five him only to discover he was marinating in a completely tepid bath with clammy hands. I moved to get him out and into a warm towel, to which he protested that he was warm; he wanted to keep talking forever, and we'd made a good honest attempt over the time it took his bathwater to cool.
While he was standing in his Astro Dash towel, he had an epiphany: "I have everyone in my heart, even people I haven't met, because I have people in my heart who have all of those people in their hearts." We have talked before about how the people we love can live on in our hearts, even if they are not right there with us or even alive anymore, and he extrapolated from there. "The very first person, I have them in my heart, because the people I have in my heart knew them." He expounded on this great connection, and I affirmed that we all indeed came from some early person somewhere, and there is a chain of relationship and love that precedes us and encompasses us.
He's really an amazing child. Honestly, I think they all are, but this is the kiddo who I get to see developing his heart and mind before my very eyes, reaching out for the cosmic and sublime, and he's just wonderful.