Row Your Boat

Within the perpetuity of a toddler, life is but a dream.

Last night my son and I were going through the methodical routine of washing our hands prior to dinner.  It is typical for us sing a little song while going through this common motion.  This time we chose to sing the traditional children’s lullaby, Row Your Boat.  We sang this lullaby together with the harmony that blesses all eternal bonds.  This particular time he managed to blindside me with some much needed inspiration.  And so the story goes…

After we were done washing up and the lullaby was over, we sat down at the table and he asked me a question.  It is a question that I will not soon forget.  It is the kind of question that has a rippling effect throughout the ever-changing world of philosophical logic.  It was the most sincere and well-placed wonderment a father could  ask for.

He asked me if he was the boat?

I sat there bewildered at the solicitous intellect behind his modest cross-examination of the hidden message within this peculiar lullaby.  The mind of a child is so delicate, yet very intricate.  It’s a mind that functions with such simplicity, yet an unimaginable amount of curious creativity.  After a few moments of unanticipated deep thought, I answered yes.

Yes, you are the boat. The stream represents your life. Rowing the boat represents the choices you make in regards to the path you choose. By rowing merrily down the stream, you are representing being happy and working conscientiously to pursue your dream in accordance to the flow of life.  Rowing gently represents the fact that sometimes you must slow down and enjoy life and not push yourself past the point of exhaustion.  You must finesse your way through the turbulent waters in order to keep yourself afloat and the dream still within reach.

He looked back at me with a confused but content look and without missing a beat, he quizzed me with another spectacular question.

He then asked me what happens if there is a flood?  The only words I could muster from this question could only be spoken with paternal instinct.  Keep your eye on the prize and eat your supper.  We will worry about that when the time comes.

We sat and ate in the stillness of silence for an eternity, both of our minds working overtime.  My mind was just trying to grasp how high the bar of wisdom was raised because of his three and a half year old imagination.  His mind was more than likely racing through all of the different troubleshooting ideas of what to do with his boat if there was a flood.

Fade: Microphone dropping

So let’s repeat the song.

Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream. Merrily, merrily, merrily life is but a dream.

The boat: You

The stream: Life

Down the Stream: Go with the flow. But sometimes we must work against the current. See Below.

Row: You must not be passive and allow life to take you wherever. You must push/row yourself to choose the right path.

Gently: Finesse/Rest/Relaxation. Do not exceed your energy, instead enjoy the comforts of life.

Merrily, Merrily, Merrily: Be happy, work hard, play harder, be merry.

Life is but a dream: The stream (Life) is the dream.  It’s up to you how to row with purpose and  accordingly.

That is all. Have a great weekend.

Thanks for stopping by.

-Be Love

*I leave you with his favorite song.  He is Funky Duck.


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  1. What a beautiful story… I too used to sing ‘row your boat’ to my kids to get them to sleep and wind myself down from a very hetic day.


  2. Thank you. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The kid’s got the kind of gumption the word was birthed in tribute to. I don’t care what anyone says, the heart of a poet is absolutely possibly genetic. 😉 PS: Please tell him I love that song and I love his hat-light-thingy, and that both are excellent choices 🙂


  4. It’s nice to see the word gumption still spoken. Not many folks see the reverence in the definition.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. *sigh* not many would recognize reverence if it caught them by their family jewels and flung them over a cliff. And some of us find it in the guileless eyes and amazingly poignant questions of babes. Perspective – talk about a crap chute, eh? 😉


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