Monday, September 8, 2014
Things I love about primary aged children.
There are things that I particularly love about working with children ages 3-6.
Although my mind and way of being would probably better suit me in a classroom full of elementary age children with their questions about the universe, I think I belong with the ones who are historyless, the present ones.
That's the first thing. Children of this age group are unforgivingly present. Being with them requires quality of attention, no mental multitasking. They teach me constantly to drop the six other things I'm thinking about to really see and be where I am with them. The joys are enormous, the sadnesses cavernous, it is transparent and wild, like the presence of animals. Wildness, yes. The classroom is a wilderness.
If you look hard enough, but really not that hard, you can see that forgiveness is their way of being at this age. They have a natural compassion. When do we lose that capacity in growing up? How many bruises before we learn to carry grudges and fear? I watch the children in their unfiltered learning process, constantly making mistakes, getting up over and over and over again. Hurting each other and making up a dozen times a day. Capable of full absolution to themselves and others. Their language for compassion is so much more subtle than that of adults (like Eskimos have all those words for snow, little children have a million ways to say "sorry.") When do we forget those subtle ways?
There is such a boldness in their way of learning. Unafraid as they pick up a new language, a movement, a skill. They try and try and try as long as I don't get in the way to offer judgement or help when it is unasked for. I'd love to learn like that again, without the self consciousness and doubt. With such conviction. To regain those powers of childhood, even for moments of the day.