Thursday, June 17, 2010

See 'em, but don't hear 'em

There are people who still subscribe to the notion that children should be seen and not heard. While I admit that my children are adorable to view, I think of what I would miss if they were never heard.

I likely would never puzzle over why the sky is blue and not pink. I might not question the differences between a one-hump camel verses the two-hump variety. And, I might never be curious enough to dig a hole in my backyard in hopes of finding a real dinosaur bone.

I understand that children can be loud and down-right obnoxious at times. And, I freely admit that I am able to tune them out while others cringe and claw at themselves in sheer agony at the piercing screams and giggles of childhood. I believe this is a trait of parenthood. We train ourselves to listen for sounds outside the normal and drown out the rest. If my children are quiet, my senses immediately perk up. I can tell the difference between a shriek of annoyance at a sibling and a shriek of pain due to falling. The sound of children is part of being a parent. And, though I ask my children to bring the noise level down a notch at times, I would never beckon them to be completely silent.

If children were seen and not heard we would see the chocolate smeared on their faces but would never hear about the yummiest chocolate chip cookie they ever ate. We would see the sadness in their eyes but never realize it was because their "bestest" friend in the whole world wanted to play with someone else at recess that day. We would see that their clothes don't match but never know it was because they chose to wear all their favorite clothes together regardless of color. We would see the dinosaurs in piles in holes in the backyard but never learn that it was the grandest imaginary fossil treasure.
I don't want my children to be spit polished and tucked in. I don't want them wearing sweater vests with nary a hair out of place. I don't want them to sit quietly and never wonder or be curious. I love that my children need to have their dirty feet scrubbed in the tub each night. I love that they have actually tasted mud pies. I delight in their laughter and marvel at their profound questions. And, yes I love their bright eyes and genuine smiles. Those things are all part of the marvelous package of childhood. Let's let children be children because childhood is short enough as it is. Let's see children and hear them too...we will surely learn a thing or two.

1 comment:

Savage said...

Hear, hear. No pun intended.