In the eyes of a child

Hello and welcome to my first post. The ideas that I share about life and all the aspects of it are forever changing and evolving through conversations with other like-minded people and interestingly, with people who hold very different beliefs to me. My stories have mostly been shaped by the little people I spend a lot of time with. They’re called children and if you sit still long enough with them, you can hear their stories, not only through words, but also through their actions, their ideas, imagination and their innate compassion and love.

I have always wanted to write about these experiences but have given in to fear every time. So I asked myself these questions; What am I afraid of and why has it taken me so long to begin writing? After much thought I came to the conclusion that I have a deep-seated belief that words, once spoken, cannot be taken back. I investigated further to try and find out why that line kept playing in my mind. I found it, thanks for that Pearl Jam!

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However, to extend on that belief, surely words and actions eventually do fade into the past. But words printed! Ouch!! I’m afraid that what I say today may not be what I believe tomorrow because my views are always changing the more I learn and the more I experience life. Surely, there are things we believe are truth our whole lives and those fixed beliefs are often fundamental in forming our inner values, our views, our likes and dislikes. But I know for sure, that twenty years ago I held the view that a hot jam donut is the best dessert on earth, without having ever tasted a creme brûlée. More concerning than my lack of experience in fine food is that once upon a time we thought the world was flat, that children should be seen but not heard. I think you can see where I am going with this. So that said, I hereby state that I take no responsibility for any written word that may not be relevant tomorrow. Let’s just live in the present tense shall we.

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Another writer’s block that I have had to deal with is the question of; who am I actually writing to or for? I think that in my profession, I have seen and heard so many adults talk about what children need. Teachers, parents, grandparents, psychologists, speech therapists, councillors and generally speaking any human being holding the title of ‘adult’. We’ve researched, debated, even argued about what children really need, yet I think that children have been telling us all along. We just haven’t listened well enough to the children themselves. So I decided that I really didn’t want to be another adult talking about what children need. I then came up with the idea of directing this Blog from the perspective of a child, writing to the adults of the world.

How could I write from a child’s perspective if I am an adult you may ask? Well, after spending two decades of my life as a primary school teacher as well as teaching mindfulness and running yoga therapy sessions for both adults and children, I have great insight into how children really feel and what they think, mostly because they tell me! I have thoroughly observed and written many notes on the things that I have learned from children. I know that a child’s perspective is always more refreshing than that of adults. Let’s face it, the world is full of adults at the moment, adults in high places,  many of them who really have nothing intelligent or useful to say. Adults in high places who are willingly and purposefully spreading messages of fear and hate.

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I have reflected on my experiences working with children over the years and also my experiences as a mother, to intuitively write from the child’s perspective. It is without a doubt in my mind that although I have taught a lot of things over the years, nothing has ever or will ever be a greater teacher than life itself. Life for me has revolved around children, so my greatest teachers are the children I have worked with, including my own son. When you read these posts, know that DearAdult is just as much me as it is you. I am not a ‘superior’ adult with special powers, I have just become an adult who understands children differently than the mainstream world does. I understand that when a child is showing us something unpleasant, it’s an invitation to help them instead of judge them. I am learning and will continue to learn with you, through life and through the children who are constantly showing us more and more than we can ever imagine with our own ‘busy’ minds.

This Blog is about children but for adults. It is about getting over the small stuff, tapping into the bigger things in life; love, creativity, imagination, enthusiasm, happiness, content, joy, compassion, forgiveness, non-judgement, peace and understanding. This Blog is a celebration of all things that bring life, renewal and positive perspective. It is a celebration of our mistakes as much as it is a celebration of our greatest achievements. From every mistake, comes greater clarity and understanding which leads to more love and compassion, for everyone.

Today, I firmly believe that that the adults of the world should back off for a few minutes (me included) and listen to what the children have been trying to tell us about the world and about life. Tomorrow, however, especially if I am feeling tired I may be inclined to think the opposite, maybe. Just joking.

Dear Adult,

Just to let you know (JTLYK) . . . about my first few weeks.
You invited me into your life, well maybe I invited myself into some families but regardless, I am here. Is that something we can agree on and something we all know for sure? Ok great, I am definitely here and yes you may have thought that children would not change your life but that seems to be one of your adult misconceptions built upon an idea that it is possible to control everything around you. Life did change, I guess. Some of the changes were good ones but a lot were unexpected and tiring. Can I tell you something?  No offence, I know you had great intentions and all, but a lot of the stuff you spend so much energy on, the stuff that makes you really tired, well it’s not really that important to be quite honest. I don’t mean to sound ungrateful for that very expensive designer pram I strolled around in my first years, but all the research, all the time you spent on the internet and at the shops comparing prams and picking the one that was just right, it would’ve been nice if you just spent more time telling me stories while I grew. Nine months is a long time to just sit around and grow and listen to conversations about prams, nursery colours and baby sensors. Again, thanks for welcoming me in a fine manner and yes it was lovely to have all those things upon arrival to my new abode, but just so you know, I would have preferred more music, more laughter, more fun and less worry while I grew.

The other thing you need to know about those early days is that I tried really hard to teach you how to adjust to me being around and being so small and needy. For example; I cried when I needed to be held but some of you kept going straight to reference books to look up all the codes and make endless predictions about why I was crying. Not every baby comes into the world the same way so we don’t all need the same things. Some of us need to be held more, others are quite okay with longer periods of time on their own. There is no right or wrong amount of time to hold a baby. It’s more important to know when a baby needs to be held. Just like knowing when a teenager needs to talk, it doesn’t really matter if it’s the right time for you, sorry to say this but as a parent, as an adult, it’s just your job to be there. Once we are adults, we won’t need that same reassurance if you give it to us while we are growing, when we need it.

Also, I  didn’t need so much noise coming from the television. All my senses were adjusting after making the transition from the warm, quiet and nurturing comfort of the womb to the business of the physical world. I was quite happy gazing out of the window and watching the leaves sway gently in the wind. Without the television in the background, I could listen out for familiar voices, from my parents, grandparents and friends. Those people who spoke lovingly, reassuringly and peacefully. This made me feel safe. You didn’t know it at the time because I couldn’t tell you in your language-the language of words, but in my language of inner knowing and feeling, I was trying to tell you that when you were relaxed and happy, so was I.

The other thing that made you tired but made no difference to me at all, was making sure that the house was orderly and perfect. Of course, I am glad that you were organised and knew exactly where the nappies were when I needed to be changed. I’m grateful that I always had dry, clean clothes to wear and that you sterilised my bottles because my baby body was sensitive and I needed you to protect me from the harmful bacteria in my new environment. But it was not necessary to fuss about and worry when the dishes were not washed or if the house did not resemble a page straight out of a designer magazine.

I tried to show you what I needed, but since I wasn’t yet talking and since that is the only language adults can understand, I may have done some unpleasant things like cried really loudly, at the wrong time and for a long time. I’m sorry about that.  I know adults are very busy worrying about adult things most of the time, I just wanted you to know that all I needed was your time and your love, of course endless amounts of milk as well.

By the way, there’s something else that you should know about my first few weeks. I never ever judged you the way you judged yourself. I knew for sure that you loved me and I could forgive you for all the mistakes you were making. Besides, I was fully aware that it is typical of adults to find it really hard to learn new things without feeling stressed about it. You may feel like time went really quickly and you don’t remember much. Maybe it hurts you that you were so tired and feel like you didn’t  really enjoy those baby days. Well I can reassure you, those days were long for me. It was not easy to just lay around all day waiting for food and other essential items required for survival. I will remember those days forever. I will hold those feelings of love and comfort deep within my heart and I shall tap into those feelings of unconditional love that you gave me for the rest of my life. Everything else will be forgotten, the love will always remain.

PS: in regards to the love remaining part, just keep in mind that maybe, it is possible, I’m just saying, that someday, in someway and for some unknown reason I may claim to actually hate you. So, luckily for us, we have already had this conversation and you know that since my heart was filled with unconditional love from you and the infinite place from which I came, then even if I claim to hate you, it’s not true because it isn’t possible to erase the unconditional love from the heart centre. It doesn’t work that way. Some other feelings may accumulate in the heart centre, such as; anger, hate, frustration, jealousy etc. However, the core, which is what was there in the beginning, will always remain. Handy isn’t it. So in that case, I will let you in on a little secret that I will tell you now but would certainly NOT tell you when I am older. When I do behave that way, most likely it will be during my pre and/or post puberty days, don’t get angry with me. Anger will just feed my own anger and make things worse. Send me fragments of unconditional love that you will always have for me but in a quiet and non-intrusive way. Example; make my favourite food, the smell alone will emotionally take me back to a place of love and comfort. Or play some nice music. Mostly, try and stay loving, because the more loving you are, the more guilty I will feel (just joking) It has nothing to do with guilt. It’s actually more about showing me, instead of ‘telling me’ that I am distancing myself from love and my true self.  With every fragment of love that you respond with, the more my heart centre will re-connect with the unconditional love within myself. Also, feel free to share this information with any of my friend’s parents and other adults but please don’t tell anyone that I told you.

You’re Welcome (YW)

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