I saw a box turtle crossing the road yesterday. It reminded me of a time when my son was little and he asked me…”do turtles blow bubbles”? It was probably the gazillionith question of the day and I can remember telling him yes. Positive answers would usually work better than …”I don’t know”…lol. But of course, I didn’t know. Still don’t.
I wish I had asked him why he asked. What was going thru his mind? I know that I was caught up, at the time, with just getting thru the day with a young, very persistent toddler. Looking back , I know that some of my very best memories( with the kids) came about thru questioning what they were thinking. Because kids are not constrained, trained, and indocrinated with so many judgements and “knowledge” as us grownups….they come up with some lovely thoughts and some “outside of the box” ideas.
I volunteered for several hours yesterday ,at a nonprofit, and I was determined to ask some of the kids what they were thinking. I asked a little six year old hispanic boy what he was thinking when I noticed him staring at me. He smiled a huge gap toothed smile and said…”You have pretty teeth”. Lol. He was missing his two front teeth and so was enamored with mine. One little hispanic girl standing next to him chimed in and told me…”when you have nice teeth it makes your skin lighter.” She told me that her mother told her that people with nice teeth look lighter skinned and that was a good thing. I told her that her skin was beautiful and so was she. It made me a little sad that they have already picked up the “skin” judgements. I ran out of time because all the kids got into a discussion about teeth..lol. Next time I volunteer, I will be sure to ask for some more thoughts from these young people who will be creating the world we live in one day.
Next time you’re spending time with a young child…ask them what they are thinking, I don’t doubt that it will brighten your day.