Kids are pretty fascinating. If you don't like kids, you are probably already bored of this article and ready to move on. Can't say that I blame you. When something looks boring I make the "something stinks," face and move on. Maybe you aren't easily amused with the little ones, but if you pay attention, they are much more amusing then you might think.
My little girl is in kindergarten, so when I visit her class, I get to see many tiny faces on a daily basis. Let me tell you about that. But because I don't know the rules of the publishing world (and am too lazy to pick up a phone and ask someone), I will just create fake names for everyone. Also, if any of the parents recognize the description of their kid ... I am talking about someone else's kid, not yours. This is already getting to be a real creepy start, but oh well.
So there's this little boy, "Hubert," and he is this cute little blonde boy with black rim glasses. One time he couldn't find his lunchbox, so his eyes began to well up with alligator tears and my whole world stopped. Someone! Anyone! Find this kid his lunch! We found it, but still. My heart melted. Adorable little crying people could create an army to rule the world, and we would all support them. Hubert once told a story to my mother-in-law (who was visiting during lunch time) that if she opened her eyes wide enough, they'd pop right out and her brains would come out the side of her head. She told me recently she is going to make a point to visit the kindergarten lunch time on a weekly basis. Another army supporter recruited.
One time during lunchtime, a little girl, "Chassy," with her large blue eyes and curly golden hair, wanted to sit next to me. Since our names are similar we have this routine that whenever we see each other we throw our hands up in the air (like scoring a touchdown) and she yells, "Kasi!" and I yell, "Chassy!" and we talk about how our names are so alike. Well, she notices the little boy on the other side of me whispering a secret in my ear and tugs on my shirt. I turn to ask her what she needs. Chassy tells me she has a secret for me. Her secret is, "Tell me what he said, but don't tell him you told me. That's my secret. Now tell me what he said." So I did. Because she is cute, little, and makes me laugh. She probably robbed me somewhere during our conversation.
So I'm a little self-conscience lately, trying to make lifestyle changes and all, and a little boy in class, we'll call him "Bilbo," tugs on my shirt and says, "You're so pretty." I gasp with gratitude. Then a while later he tells me, "I love you." You know what I love, sweet Bilbo? Giving you cookies, candy, and whatever your little heart desires. Take my car. You are adorable. A boy once told me he didn't think I was a mommy, he thought I was a first-grader. I've been told I look a little young for my age, but first grade? Let me think. Compliment? Yes. I will take it! Then I realize, there is nothing like praise from a kindergartener to make you realize, you're self-esteem was originally worse than you thought it was. All I know is those little goobers are getting extra goodies for their Christmas baggies. I'm sure they know exactly what they're doing. However, this feeble simpleton (me) is happy to oblige.
Here's the thing, after watching their trifling manners, I realized that us "grown" people could learn a lot from them. It was easy to show Hubert compassion, because he didn't hide being sad. He was honest about how it felt losing his lunchbox! So I helped him find it.
It's not always easy to be honest and trust others with our feelings, but on occasion when we do, others can help aid us in a lonely situation or encourage us. (That's deep!) Chassy makes a connection by having a special routine just between us. "Kasi!" "Chassy!" Making others feel unique can strengthen a relationship. She was instantly memorable.
Even if that's not important to you, empathy is important to everyone. Bilbo was not afraid to dole out compliments. There was no motive for it, just kindness. But sometimes it's good to be reminded of the simple things like kindness. (Rude people in grocery store. Yeah, I said it). Going back to the basics isn't such a bad idea. If we're going to go back to the basics, we might as well learn from the beginners!
Kasi McClure enjoys being a wife and mother of two in Kenai. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.