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My grandsons, BZ and YY came to visit me yesterday. The first thing that came out of the 3 year old, YY’s mouth was pure, unadulterated confidence and passion.
“Omi, guess what?” he said to me with a huge smile. “I put on my bathing suit all by myself, and then I took off all my clothes all by myself too!” He raised his hands in the air, in excitement, and I exclaimed. “Wowee! I’m so proud of you…”
My daughter-in-law and I exchanged smirks about the switching around of the order of undressing to dressing.
This was to me the best form of happiness. I wanted to bottle up his joy and carry it around with me all day. I wanted to squeeze him, hold him, lift him up high and tell him how proud of him I was.
He was already off and running to go swimming in the pool with his Daddy.
I love children. I suspect most women my age who are grandmothers love children. I’m not only talking about love for one’s own children and grandchildren. That’s a natural form of love, where a bear protects her cubs.
I’m talking about loving children who aren’t necessarily my own. My students, my friends’ kids and grandkids, my clients and a cute kid I see on the street. I think children are still pure and fresh, without the cynicism and malice that often mars life’s joy. Their pure, simple — and accurate – ways of seeing things often catches us by surprise because it is the truth.
We hear something a child says, or we see what they do, and we can’t believe how real and on the mark they are, that such a “little person,” is doing such a “big person’s” act, that we lose our breath in their cutenss. In some ways, they – all children – are too cute for words.
Golda Meir, former Prime Minister of Israel has been quoted as saying that “There will only be peace between Israel and Palestinians when the Palestinians love their children more than they hate Israel.”
As I read the news – online and in paper, as I listen to radio, and watch various you-tubes, I marvel sadly at the accuracy of Mrs. Meir’s statement. I note how some cultures can miss the innocence and beauty of a child. The newness, the passion, the wonder, the cutenss, the possibilities for creativity and growth…and so much more.
Why do they miss it? Because their passion – for non-love blurs their eyesight. That hateful feeling- is resting in their hearts. Passion cannot exist in two places at once. The passions for hate and love are competing…and guess who wins? Fighting.
That’s unfortuante, because love should always win. Sadly, when people have such warped perceptions of life’s value, there will never be peace.
How can we show love for children? By educating them about the sciences, the Torah (Bible) and accurate historical facts. By teaching them to love their fellow man, and how to act like a “mentsch.”
By singing songs, drawing pictures, creating recipes together, laughing, writing, expressing joy and love and the gamut of feelings in safe ways.
How do we NOT show love for children? By teaching them to fight. To dislike. To blame. To resist responsibility. To be a victim.
That’s not love for children, but another word – it is Unlove. Children – all of us – need love like we need water.
Let’s shower our kids with love…today.
Tags: children, grandmother's love, innocence in children, Israeli love for children, love, peace, teacher's love