Wednesday, February 29, 2012

...and Remembering What It Is To Be a Kid Is Better than Getting Your Way

Today, in a move I learned from my mother, I forgot what it is to be a kid. Actually, to be human.

As people, we all want to be special, but only in a way that doesn't upset the balance of belonging to our peer groups. In first grade, kids are learning what it is to conform to their social group. They're figuring out what it takes to fit in. They want to please. They want to be comfortable in their surroundings, even while they want others to notice they're unique.

My seven-year-old has had a chaotic life. She has the amazing ability - already - to assess her environment and adapt, but she is only a first-grader. While she loves being a little different, she craves community. I understand this; I am the same way at nearly forty years old. And yet, I forgot.

It was only for a moment, maybe fifteen minutes, but it was long enough to make her cry. Because she is already a compassionate, beautiful being, her response to this horrible amnesia was, "I should remember to be more grateful, Mama."

Her kindness made me proud of who she is and ashamed of myself.

Those fifteen minutes, hopefully minor for her even with the distress, will be with me a long time.

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