Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Words of a Child

The Headlines:

Why is it that when children speak some don't listen?

Maybe we should all listen more.




Do you know - there is a lot we can learn from kids….?  Really.  Oddly, and perhaps magically… they can teach us life lessons of a life they're just beginning.  I'm not sure how - but it's true.  That's why we love them so much, among many other reasons, they end up teaching us almost as much as we teach them, through their words.

Of course, we know they say the silliest, funniest things.  That's evident from the back page of Parenting Magazine.  I so get a kick out of those!  A few months ago I felt like I should have sent one in… I know, er, ah, I think... it would have topped all of the entires!  You decide: my little boy and I were walking - as we do multiple times each month -  in the middle of one of Target's aisles and I turned to see my son's hands down his pants - again.   He was 2, so I, of course, said get your hands out of your pants and he SCREAMS, "but my pee pee is hard and soooo big!"  I ask you, what in the world is one supposed to say to that?  Because I - unlike most of my entire life - was speechless.

There are also sweet, special things that come from the mouths of babes, like when my daughter - I think I may have been pregnant at the time, announced "I believe in Jesus - I do!"  Then went on to say, "I was up in heaven and then Jesus sent some magic down and then it turned and I was in your stomach!"  It was so clear to her that Jesus/God was real because he made her (with a little help from me and dad of course, but that's a lesson for another time)!

And sometimes there is something, almost wise, which falls from the lips of the young.  It doesn't happen often,  but it does happen here and there.  I was reminded of that recently when I came across something written, actually, by a 2nd grader.  Clearly doing a school assignment about "If I had 3 dreams they would be…"

Here it is…



Can you see it?


If you can't make out all the words - which unless you have super powers, I'd imagine is quite impossible.  I'll translate.  It reads:

My dreams would be that everyone would be nice to one another.
My second dream would be that everyone could pick up their own trash. 
And my third dream would be that everyone could not steal or tease about what color you are.
I can help by picking up my trash 
and I can help by telling people that it doesn't matter what color you are but it matters what you are.


That assignment was written back in the late 70's and the author was me.

2nd grade Nicole
When I saw the paper in my "save" box recently - I found it to be a bit like foreshadowing in a book.  Perhaps, a little ahead of my time.  Like I was almost defining the future and what large societal issues were to come:  the search for unyielding human kindness (or altruism), the environment and racism.  As a society we still struggle a bit with all of them.  If only we didn't.

I guess it started me thinking: kids have a lot to say, a lot of crazy, non-sensical stuff which is so fun to laugh at and re-tell for entertainment purposes but there's also a lot of genuinely good, meaty stuff in there too.  Perhaps we should listen more to that… and learn from it.

Just a few minutes ago we were eating dinner and, for some reason, a little girl in my daughter's class came up.  Probably because my daughter, Savannah,  reports to me, daily, the mean things this little gal says to her.  I said something about the little girl not being her friend.  She quickly corrected me.  "Mom," she says, "everyone's my friend."  REALLY?  This little girl who I would almost qualify as her "nemesis"… she still considers a FRIEND?  REALLY?

I began to talk about how not everyone is her friend or has to be… but I stopped myself.  My daughter, who happens to be the same age as me when I wrote the above "dreams" assignment, is actually trying, very hard, to put that first line of mine into action…

My dream(s) would be that everyone would be nice to each other


yet I'm telling her: be nice…  but don't really be friends.  Is that how that "dream" is supposed to end?  I'm not sure the 2nd grade me envisioned it that way!  So I ask again?  Do you know - there is a lot we can learn from kids?

I would say that, as parents, we get a very rare and special opportunity to receive these lessons.  Lessons others do not have access to… lessons we forget when the little ones are no longer there to remind us.  Their wise words, more often than not, diminish with age.  I'm not sure why… sports, heartache, hunger?  It all plays a role, growing up is tumultuous. But while, they're there…while they are fully yours - listen… listen close, listen hard.  They have much to say.