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If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.
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Wednesday, June 03, 2009
Listening to Children's View of Love
I drive my daughter, Miranda, to camp in the morning along with her best friend. I’ve been doing it most of the summer. With a little pal in the back seat, my daughter doesn’t demand my attention. So, I turn the radio on and listen to my NPR programs. That is until the radio announcer started talking about dying children in Iraq, and I quickly shut it off.
And quickly tune in to what my daughter was saying to her friend.
“Diana and Jeff are in love. I saw the love at the party.” My daughter’s very serious tone drew my attention like a laser to the back seat. I slowed down and angled my head so I could hear more clearly.
“Yeah, sure,” Her friend said in an equally serious tone. “They’re boyfriend and girlfriend. I saw the love too.”
“But, he doesn’t love me.” My daughter sounded puzzled at that.
“No. But he likes you.” Her friend sounded reassuring.
“The grownups say they’ll get married.” My daughter said this as if she was planning what to wear to the event.
Her friend said, “Sure.”
My daughter then asked her friend “Are you still girlfriend to Dave?”
“No,” said her friend. “That’s gross. We broke up.”
Silence in the back seat until my daughter changed the subject. “I’ll be the princess and you’ll be the baby and I’ll find the palace.”
I sat forward and switched on the radio again, but kept the sound low. I wanted to laugh and cry. The conversation sounded like 16-year-olds, but these girls are only six.
Yet they can see the “love.” They already know what “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” mean. So, my new resolution is to keep the radio down, a friend in the back seat as often as possible, and listen carefully to get the critical information I need.
For when I ask how things are, already I’m getting the much-used word: “fine.” Followed by silence.
Note: Names have been changed to protect friends.
By Georgie Craig Stumble This Post