The Younger Generation

Yesterday, just by chance (or maybe by design, I don’t know) a lot of children happened into my day. It’s always a blessing and I end up realizing how important it is to have people from a different age group in my life. It’s refreshing and gets me to thinking.

Three young men and their slightly older sister came to visit, along with their mom. I’m always amazed at how this young girl exists calmly and patiently between the world of her rambunctious brothers and the adults that she is beginning to identify with. And oh, how she reminds me of my own childhood with four younger brothers. Girl, I hope your mom reads this to you so you will know that I am praying for you. You will survive.

While we adults talked, the children played in the backyard (crawled through the cat door! Or rather tried to crawl through the cat door…), played with legos and generally entertained themselves quite well. I remarked on this to their mom and she talked about her method of training. When they come to her with complaints of boredom, she suggests they help her clean. Voila! Suddenly they are able to entertain themselves with something else. They often come to her for little snippets of attention which she meters out judiciously but there is none of this hanging on, whimpering, dissatisfied “when are we leaving?” stuff that could keep us ladies from talking. We had a good visit.

And earlier in the day I had an appointment with eight year old GPLL to choose some sewing patterns for herself and her American Girl doll. In the car I usually have the radio playing on a Moody talk station. Sometimes we talk when we are driving around but a lot of the time we are silent. I’m never sure if she is listening to the programming or looking at the “Where’s Waldo?” book I keep in the back seat for her. Yesterday there were some pretty gruesome news stories about the killing of school children in Pakistan, and also a description of the Christmas event as the coming of a “baby born to die”. This last remark caught her by surprise and we had to talk about it.

But my respect for the listening ears and the depth of her understanding came later. We had heard most of one of the half hour long programs and it was closing out as we turned into the parking lot and I shut off the car. I had been concentrating on driving more than listening but evidently that was not the case with my young friend. “That was a good message.” she remarked. Oh really? I should have paid more attention… Again, I’m just sayin’.

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