October 21, 2014


Janelle Spiers

The world would be a boring place without six-year-olds.  How many kids do you know that just hit age six or are working through it?  Sometimes, they can be a pain to teach and take care of all day and every day, but have you ever stopped to think about what the world would be like if all children skipped the age of six?

Two year olds are adorable toddlers that run around the house and are falling down as often as they get up.  That's a lot of tears, tissues, and runny noses.  But they are just learning to talk and walk and make all sorts of cute pictures on every surface but the paper in front of them.  If kids stayed as toddlers, yeesh, life would be a funny nightmare.

Then they get older and celebrate their fourth birthdays.  By this time, they can probably walk rather steadily, but they are forever getting hurt because they like to dance or wrestle or even just innocently walk down the hallway.  They know enough words to be curious and most of their vocabulary is limited to, "What's that?  Why?"  They always want to know what's going on, what will happen next, and why whatever-it-is does whatever it's doing.  

But by the time they grow out of these trying stages, they make it to age six.  Age five was fine, but they were in an awkward stage between a young, adorable child of age four and a child who ought to know what's expected of them, because they're not toddlers anymore.  Six years old is the place for suspended youth; in between the childhood days and right at the brink of falling into the place of "growing-up."  A six-year-old is like a giant ear, mouth, and hand.  They hear everything you don't want them to hear, and are very likely to repeat that conversation to whomever would like to listen and they want to try everything and feel it, and touch it, and hold onto it tightly.  They are eager learners and their minds are young; the people around them are super influential in their up-bringing.  They're like little stars, flames of energy shining with so much vigor and enthusiasm that their faces are glowing and their spirits are twinkling.  

But for good and for bad, it doesn't last long.  The children grow up, go to school, learn to be a part of the adult world, and they soon lose something they won't even remember having.  Imagination, innocence, and inquisition are gone from them, replaced by facts, expectations, and rebellion.  They lose the happy imaginings of rainbow unicorns that dance in the clouds mixed with pirate robots from outer space; it's all boiled down into, "No, unicorns are make-believe and clouds are actually made of water vapor."  They lose their innocent questions and very honest demeanor and they are no longer interested in discovery, because they are forced to learn it whether they want to or not.  

A six-year-old has something really special.  They are little children with ideas as far-out as they can be, voices that long to be heard, and eagerness swirling around in a small, tiny frame.  I think that we should all be like six-year-old's again; we should shoot for the stars, blast like a rocket, and search for our dreams amongst the clouds.  Let's learn to be children and see the world from a child's eyes; they know how to dream big, search for answers, and try to achieve their secret goals.  Let's observe the "stars" of our world and try to grow up to be just like children.

No comments: