The greatest thing about being young, and by young I mean younger than anyone who would potentially be reading this … or anyone that is presumably out of grade school, is that they have the innate ability to say what they mean, and actually mean what they say.
For example, I have a ten year old daughter who not all that long ago told me, “I (she) want to be smaller.”
Puzzled and anxious, my mind started blaring … WARNING … WARNING …could she have an eating disorder? Was she experiencing some sort of peril that was making her think she needed to be skinny? Like super DUPER skinny. Bear in mind, this girl is far from overweight- she is fit, she is slim, she is smart, she is friendly and truthfully gorgeous.
And then, was this my fault? She’s certainly overheard me complain about some conceived imperfection … be it five pounds, ten pounds … be it hair not straight enough or hair too curly … she’s seen me skip dinner … she has seen me eat too much dinner … Was the culprit behind her sudden walk to the dark side of (gulp) dieting because of something I said?
But before I could decipher the correct words (if there are any) to ease what I feared was a wary mind, I simply asked, “Why?”
And she cleanly, purely answered, “Because it would be really cool to fit into a mouse hole and see just where they go.” She shrugged, walked out of the room and went on with her day.
I laughed. Relieved. And a bit annoyed with myself for my erroneous assumption. And as I watched her walk away, I couldn’t help but wonder if, perhaps, there was a mouse hole somewhere in our house … now THAT, was something to worry about.
So what about you? When you jump too fast to a conclusion, are you able to let your brain breathe a minute and decode the literal from the fictional? Are there times when, in retrospect, you wish you would have?