They say the regular things kids say like “No!” and “But why, Mom?” and “I’m going to my buddy’s”, even when the dishes aren’t quite done.
But they also say things that stop you in your tracks. Things that make you know there is a real, deep thought life going on inside their heads.
I’ve said for a while that I should start writing down the things they come out with so I don’t forget. So, I thought I’d share some of their words of wisdom here. I will add to this list over time and welcome any additions that you readers may have from the young ones in your lives.
Often, the notable comments come at random times throughout the day. Like the time our youngest asked:
“Mom, where do good ideas come from? Like, how come I can decided to build the biggest ocean liner ever, even when I’m just a kid?”
There’s obviously a lot of good thinking going on right before bed, though, too. I often get to sit in for prayers like: “Dear Lord, Thank You for our house and that we don’t live on the side of the road in a cardboard box.”
One of the first really striking things our daughter said to me was as she was waiting for her Dad to tuck her into bed. She asked me:
“Why do we have so many good things? It’s not like we did anything to deserve them.”
Further to that, a few months later, after looking at some pictures of how people live in different countries and what they have to do on a daily basis to survive, she said:
“It doesn’t seem right that they have to work so much harder than us and they don’t have as much as we do. It seems like they should have more.”
Our oldest tends to ponder things deeply. So when he comes out with a zinger, it takes some thought on my part to respond. The other day he asked me, “How can a person can be angry at someone and have grace for them at the same time?”
When I consider the nature of the thoughts bouncing around in our three young minds, parenting them can seem a daunting task. How to guide them when they are off on a thousand tangents a day, the majority of which they never verbalize?
The pressure can mount when I feel like it’s my responsibility to ensure they have the true, healthy answers for all their questions. And, I am guilty of going overboard trying never to miss a teachable moment. Just ask our sixteen year old. More than once I have come up for air during a mommy-monologue and noticed a pain look that says, “I just wanted to know if I could have the last of the milk!”
Thankfully, most of the time I remember that, as parents, we have a more effective tool than drowning our kids in explanations about how the world works. Obviously, our wisdom is one of the best things we can impart to them. But, just as talking with them, listening to their thoughts and giving sage responses is one of our important parenting roles, talking with God about them, and listen to His sage responses is the best thing we can do for our kids.