What can we teach a child?
Sure, we can teach a child how to tie a shoe, and when to brush her teeth, and to say 'please' and 'thank you' and 'be kind' and 'share your treats' and 'eat your vegetables' and the ABC and how to count 'till 100. We can teach a child how to talk, and talk, and go sleep at night, and go to sleep at naptime. We can teach a child what is 'right', what is 'wrong', what is 'fair', and what is 'just.'
But what can we learn from a child?
We learn how to see fairies in butterflies, how to make a cake in the sand, how to try to put back together a flower that was picked up. We learn how to change our mood in an instant and how to be in the moment, even when the moment is a deep cry and replaced with a roaring laughter a moment later. We learn how to imagine and dream when we are awake. We learn that people wear masks to hide their faces. We learn to be afraid of the dark and the monster in the closet, and nothing else. Well, maybe also an insect or two. We learn optimism before it was named by us, and courage, and joy and terror and love - before we added stories to them. We learn about innocence and belief and how easily we morph and easily we begin to adopt ideas and create habits. We learn how to play and explore, and discover. We learn that the leaf is more interesting than the Nintendo Wii, that the messy old doll means more than a new one, that attention is the biggest gift of all. We learn when it was that we acknowledged the other. We learn how we've been trying to return to our collective togetherness ever since.
Children may be our greatest teachers.
They teach us how to SEE prior to when we were taught how to see.
In April 2020, while experiencing her first ever global pandemic, Tamar Pelzig pledged to write something every day, even if it's only a word, so she welcomed to the world a daily blog to keep her creative writing wheels rolling.
Header Art: Daniel Landerman