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1.24.2013

BEFORE WE KNEW ANY BETTER


Little kids are exhibitionists and full fledged adherents to the 1st amendment!  They are without full understanding of societal boundaries.  We garner that like moss as we get older.

I tried to think back to what my earliest childhood memory is - what age I can remember back to.  I think it was 4 years old.  Preschool was a new thing that was just gaining momentum in 1970 when I was 4 - not like they make it today.  The education system now tries to scare parents into believing their kids will not score high enough on their SAT test or get into their college of choice if they don't have a year or TWO of preschool!  Ridiculous!! 

When I was 4  years old I remember being downtown in the little town I grew up outside of.  I was getting out of our green Buick with my mom.  At 4 years old I was stating to her that I wanted to go to preschool and why I wanted to go - that she should and had to let me go.  I had no point of reference to what the hell preschool really was.  I just knew it sounded like something I wanted, no NEEDED to be in.  If I remember correctly, she heard me out but said no.  I didn't at the time have a full concept of the position of a 4 year old within the boundaries of arguing a point. No doubt I took it too far:)

My first cousins lived across the road from me growing up.  When I was 13 years old my Aunt and Uncle had their last child, an oops we thought we were done with kids thing.  One day I got off the bus to see my cousin, then about 2 years old, buck naked standing in the front yard.  She had no concept of nudity, a bus of on-lookers, or the embarrassment of her older sister getting off the bus. 

When my own daughter was 4 we went to the house of one of our parishioners.  This woman was a single mom living on government aid.  Her house was filthy, in need of both cleaning and repair.  But, she invited us for dinner.  I tried to warn my very young daughter that Mabel lived different than us so she would not say things out loud that would be inappropriate.  I tried to tell her that the house would be dirty, possibly there wouldn't be a lot of food or even a great meal.  Even at 4 years old you have some comparative abilities but you don't have enough etiquette.  Hannah did what I feared, "Mom, doesn't Mabel have a sweeper?  Does she use it?"  Oh my!  What to do!!! 

Our own granddaughter, then 4, came to stay with us.  We live on a corner where two streets intersect with a four-way stop.  It was summer and after a day of swimming and playing outside, I gave her a bath.  My mistake was to then let her go back outside clean! In my defense I was years past raising kids and had forgotten that principle. The next thing I saw was her crouching behind the only tree in our overly exposed to the world yard and peeing.  She wasn't embarrassed that cars were driving by.  She didn't care that she hadn't mastered the art of girl peeing in the out-of-doors.  Nor did she care that she peed down her legs and into her socks and shoes.  Uninhibited kids are.

My dad claims that when I was a kid I was his shadow.  I went everywhere with him.  One day he went to the lumber yard to get a part he needed.  En route he stopped to pick up a man walking, a man he knew that was associated with the lumbar yard.  My dad had a pickup and I scooted as far over to my dad as I could when this gentleman got in the truck.  I never took my eyes off him.  He was deaf and mute.  I had never encountered someone like that and I can remember being somewhat fearful and unsure.  This man, to communicate with me smiled and touched my knee.  My dad feared what I would say out loud.  Why, I don't know as the man would not have been able to hear me!  Upon leaving the truck I turned to my dad and asked why God made that man deaf and mute and how did he tell his kids he loved them?

I once had a little child in one of the churches we pastored  years ago ask why I didn't have big boobs like their mom:)  Out of the mouth of babes!

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