As an adult watching my children learn about the world, sometimes I feel sad because my childhood is relegated to fragmented memories and trinkets in a dusty shoebox. Let me clarify that I DO NOT want to go back in time and actually become a child again, but I do wish I could still think more like a child.
I love how they view life with a sweet combination of innocence and optimism. My attempts at optimism are soured by hard lessons in reality – betrayals, disappointments and loss. My adult optimism is miles better than cynicism, but pales in comparison to that of a child.
I envy my children because their first inclination is to trust; no questions asked. They don’t fearfully approach each day like one would a growling dog. Although they have seen that children can be mean and friendship fickle, they don’t realize that some adults should not be trusted; they haven’t discovered that people disguised as friends can use them; they don’t know about cautiousness and skepticism; they haven’t found out that the world can be selfish and cold; and they haven’t learned that parents don’t have all the answers.
We do our best to guide and protect our children, but I imagine it will be a disappointment to them when they recognize that my husband and I are flying blind. Maybe they will appreciate the daily prayers that therapy can reverse any damage we have done. (Maybe they won’t.) Perhaps it will help that I pray for each hurt to make them stronger, and that they learn the world isn’t always a gentle place, but if they keep their hearts open, they will surely find kindness, and understand that love is more powerful than hate. Maybe it won’t help, but I still hope. Hope is every rung in the ladder leading to all that is good.
Translation (in case you can’t make out all the words): “I am thankful for many things. I am thankful for my pencil so I can write. I am thankful for life so I can have fun. I am thankful for my parents so I can get help when I need it. I am thankful for school so I can learn new stuff.“
My older son brought this paper home on Monday, and as soon as I read it, I knew it would go in my “forever folder.” I had always suspected that God blessed me with children as a last-ditch effort to teach me some patience (a futile endeavor thus far), but when I look closer, I see so much more than that: Through them, I’m breathing fresh air.
I want to be thankful for something as basic as a pencil. I want to live with an undamaged heart.
Yes, I want to think like a child.
How do you think (or want to think) like a child?