Sunday, November 25, 2007

the age of reason

Today, Bennett is seven. The age of reason has arrived.

Although I am not Catholic, I find this fascinating....
(from Wikipedia):
The age of reason, also called the age of discretion, is the age at which children become capable of moral responsibility. On completion of the seventh year a minor is presumed to have the use of reason (canon 97 §2 of the Code of Canon Law), but mental retardation or insanity could prevent some individuals from ever reaching it. Children under the age of reason and the mentally handicapped are sometimes called "innocents" because of their inability to commit sins: even if their actions are objectively sinful, they lack capacity for subjective guilt.

With each significant age, the world as we know it widens, and our place in it becomes so much more circumspect. We travel around ourselves with a constantly expanding orbit, encounter other life forms along the way, and struggle to integrate our orbit into the whole of the universe.

At the age of seven, the world (though still black and white) truly opens up for the first time. A child who has reached the age of reason is now able to see "the other", and realize that his actions have consequences. We, the grown-ups, seem to think they have this knowledge before they do, and in many small ways, we take their innocence from them.

Today, Bennett is seven. His world will never be small again. This evening we looked at photo albums from when he was born and we talked about the umbilical cord that held us together for nine months. Later, sitting on my lap on the living room floor, he said, "Today wouldn't be my birthday if you weren't here."

I love you, Bennett Buddy Boo.


Swiss Miss said...

One year closer for Bennett to be in the Senate.

calibosmom said...

Thank you for reminding me that the age of reason is 7. I'll try to remember that when my five year old is flipping out at me for making him turn off the tv.