The Wisdom of the Young:
Every once in a while, someone young knocks you for a loop with what they say.
Most often, they are amusing like the following from A, my son (and which I will preserve until my toast on your wedding day...):
- April 1999: (on the toilet) "Oh no! My bottom has a hole in it! I need a band-aid!"
- June 1999: after I explained how hot & cold water mix to get warm water: "You know, I just don't believe it."
- April 2000: (we had been listening to an NPR show on about Taiwan): "Why is China red? Is Taiwan blue? How about yellow? Is there a yellow China?"
- August 2000: (on waking at night) "They were nice bears!" -- referring to nightmares. Then we understood the aversion to sleeping with a teddy bear...
- December 2000: (referring to Christmas): "Bye, hamburger" -- it took us a while to figure out that this was 'Bah, humbug.'
- April 2001: "Superman comes from the planet Crouton. Crouton is a food, too. Did you know that?"
- June 2001: the dreaded "...whatever, Dad."
- June 2001: "I'll sit across from you so you can see my shining face."
However, some are not funny at all, and are quite deep. Here are two:
1. Driving around on a very cold and cloudy day in Bogotá, the younger brother of one of my best friends, aged about five or six at the time, said: "Esas no son nubes de lluvia; son nubes de entierro." Now it doesn't come out quite as nicely in English, but what he said was: "Those aren't rainclouds; they're burial clouds." ...The whole car was silent for about five minutes.
2. Not really something someone said, but something written: I was busily raking up leaves one dreary fall day when I noticed a bright pink piece of paper blowing across the yard. I picked it up to find that it was a fluorescent Post-It with some child's writing on it:
The days grow shortter and shortter
And my parents work longger and longger.
I simply sat down in the grass and cried. I still have the piece of paper as a reminder to take care, and I often wish I read it every day.