Children see the world differently. Well, from me anyway. With my vast years of experience, I tend to observe critically and reach conclusions based on my carefully cultured wisdom. Children tend to just see, and since they don’t have as many filters, they tend to report what they see with some accuracy. Their untutored wisdom often leaves me humbled, baffled, intrigued, at times laughing out loud, and certainly, never quite the same.
The other day, as my sons were going out on a mission of mercy to help their grandparents with some heavy lifting jobs, I passed the keys to one son and wished him well. My six year old offered this insight instead: “If the blue car doesn’t work, try the grey one, and if that doesn’t work, ask for help, and if that doesn’t work—walk.” Who knew someone so little could consider the options so honestly?
One springtime, my little son looked outside and saw new buds greening up the trees. He came running up to me, saying: “Look, Mom, God’s dressing up the trees for Easter.” Yes, of course, He was—I’d just never grasped that so clearly before.
And one year, as a play-dead possum lay in the yard after my husband had tried rather unsuccessfully to shoo it away, one daughter carefully observed: “Well, you can’t chase a dead Possum.” Too true. Apparently, Mr. Opossum was in on that bit of insight.
Through the years of raising my kids, I often had the experience of stopping everything just to think about what I just heard coming out of their little/big mouths, minds, and hearts. And it is not just the little ones who have rearranged my thinking—teenagers are quite proficient at tossing my preconceived notions to the wind. Yet my soul has been enriched beyond measure by their words, by their wisdom, by their honest insight.
Sometimes the greatest treasure we can bestow on the world is to actually hear—even when we are listening.