The wisdom of children
By Theresa Blume
The other day I witnessed an event that warmed my heart and made me smile. My 17-month-old granddaughter, Bristol, has found some children next door, a three-year-old boy and a girl, about her own age. There is a wrought iron fence that separates them, but that did not stop them from becoming friends.
The only one that can actually talk of the three is the little boy. Bristol is very good at indicating what she wants, so between the three of them, they had a perfectly good conversation.
The boy told Bristol that he got new shoes and held a foot up to the fence so she could see. My granddaughter appreciates a good pair of shoes, so she reached out and felt the leather, nodding in agreement. Then without a word the other little picked up one foot and held it up to the fence, so Bristol could see her shoe, which was also carefully studied. Bristol was barefoot at the moment, so she held up her little foot so they could see. They both studied her foot so seriously that I did not dare laugh.
The next subject was belly buttons. Bristol reached out and lifted the boy’s shirt to see if he had one. I was embarrassed and wanted to explain, but he had no problem. Bristol proceeded to lift up her shirt to proudly show off her own belly button, and the girl shamelessly followed suit.
Now that it was established that they all had belly buttons and feet, the next subject was haircuts. Bristol rubbed her little hand over the boy’s freshly buzzed head, and the little girl immediately grabbed a few strands of her own hair, prompting Bristol to show them her little pony tail on top of her head.
Since she was barefoot and not dressed for outside, I broke the news that Bristol had to go inside now. The little girl immediately ran toward the house yelling “Mommy!” in a surprisingly loud voice. The boy just stood there with a sad look on his face.
I wanted to tell him what day she would be back but realized kids this age only live for the moment. Neighbor sightings operate with a silent agreement, “When I’m out and you’re out, we will meet again.”
I carried Bristol back to our apartment since there was no way she was leaving that fence of her own will. She leaned over my shoulder yelling “Bye!” repeatedly and waving until we were inside the door.
I imagined these three a little older all ending up in the same school or maybe a romance in her future with a great story to tell. At this age it is simple. They do not focus on their differences but instead focus on what they have in common as human beings, less talk and more understanding. Wouldn’t it be nice if we adults could be so wise?