Monday, August 17, 2009

Children

Whitney had it right. "I believe the children are our future... teach them well, and let them lead the way. Show them all the beauty they possess inside." So true.
Children are beautiful. They imagine, wonder, question, learn, play, and feel everything so strongly. They are curious, loving, funny, and inspiring.
As a teacher, one of my favorite things is when a student asks me a question that I never thought that they would ask. I actually like being surprised by abstract thoughts and ideas or just things that I never considered. The children are our future, so we must teach them well like Whitney said, but more importantly... I think we must remember all that they teach us.
They inspire us to be more humble, kind, compassionate, empathetic, curious, aware, and fun.
We were outside the other day and one of my roommates, K., said that she liked to revert to childish activities like coloring with sidewalk chalk and playing games like 4 square. I feel her. I like to "revert" sometimes too. It comes from the life lessons I've learned from the students; relax, have fun, leave responsibility behind and "revert." But I do wonder... why is it "reverting?" Why can't adults just enjoy the things that they enjoyed as kids? What's so wrong with that?
Here's something I loved as a kid and still love very much: The Land Before Time. I used to watch that movie every day in kindergarten. It's amazing. And yes, maybe I love it so much now because I loved it then, but that's okay. It still moves me. And yes... it is a children's movie. So what?
As I watched it again recently, I was humbled and I felt so much emotion. At one pivotal moment involving the main character's mom (a brontosaurus by the way) I was moved to tears. Laugh if you want, but I was emotionally stirred. I texted my mother. I said "I'm watching the Land Before Time and it made me miss my mommy. I love you mom." I'm a cheeseball... but I meant it.
Amazing how childish things bring you back to center. My mom and I disagree a lot. Sometimes we get a little tense towards one another. But the thing is... she's my mom, and I love her, and she did a lot for me. So no matter what... I will always come back. I have to. My mom is a part of me.
"I believe the children are the future, teach them well and let them lead the way..."
Well, I am not a parent yet, but I am my mother's child, which means that I am the future, and I will lead the way. I'll lead the way home; I'll lead the way to the playground; I'll lead the way to the sidewalk where K. and I are drawing cats, peace signs, and other fun things; I'll lead the way to innocence, to learning, to hope, to magic, love, and miracles. I'll lead the way. I hope you follow, at least until you too can lead...