I’ve been reading The Little Prince with Shaya and though it is my third time with this book, it’s as if I am seeing it for the very first time.
Last night, as we neared the ending, it all came together. The prince encounters a fox who begs him to tame him. He explains that taming someone or something makes meaning in one’s life, that it’s the definition of love.
The prince had left his planet because he was annoyed with the behavior of a flower. The single flower on his entire planet. She told him she was the only one like her in existence, but when he gets to Earth, he sees a grove of roses and feels disappointed to know that she was not unique.
But the fox corrects him. His flower *was* unique because she tamed the prince and he tamed her. His life revolved around doing for her and caring for her and even though she was difficult in attitude, her life revolved around him.
Of course at this point, he’s homesick, because going away always gives perspective of what we left behind.
I’ve never thought of the word tame in this way, but I suppose it’s true. You’re not traveling the world, hopping between beds, flitting from job to job if you find the one to settle in with. You come home every night because you’ve chosen to attach to a particular spot, person, community, idea.
We like to think we run free, but in reality we are tamed by a whole lot of people, places and things. Some good, some not so good.
In these weeks of gathering with family, I have felt like I was coming to a familiar home, and it was because of the people who turned up on a moment’s notice. That’s taming.
“Are you tamed by anyone?” I asked Shaya.
He smiled and leaned in, cheek to cheek. “Yeah. You. I’m tamed by my Mommy.”
The little secret of course is that I am so much more tamed by him than the other way around.