Life on Cottage Hill: PAGES

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

talk about it

I wanted to capture one of my favorite things about life with Jackson right now. Our inquisitive little man has the most insatiable appetite for learning (which I LOVE!) and he feeds his curiosity by asking us to "talk about it..."

He utters these three words countless times a day when he is yearning for more understanding and wants us to really spend time explaining to him about any given subject, but the words have also become the theme of our bedtime routine. Each night he now picks out a handful of topics that he wants mommy to "talk about" and we do just that, we talk out whatever is spinning in his little mind. Hot topics lately have included: big trucks (how they pick up food from farms and transport it all over the country to grocery stores), America (including the states and what freedom means), eggs (yep, just eggs, where do those things come from anyway), steam engines (luckily, Dan handled that one) and the list goes on. And on.

I continue to be impressed with Jackson's desire to learn and I'm also realizing that every kid in the world is born with the same level of curiosity, but it's up to us, as their parents and as adults, to never let that curiosity fade. To teach them, by example, to keep asking questions, to keep learning, to never assume that we know it all- because we couldn't possibly know all there is to know.

What a disservice it is to our children to assume that they don't need to know this or that, that they couldn't possibly understand, that they wouldn't even want to understand. Every time you lower the bar for them their spark for learning about the world fades just a little bit.

I write this for myself as a parent and myself as member of the generation who is raising the next generation: keep raising the bar for our children- because they will rise (or fall) to whatever level you set it at and never, ever stop answering their endless questions. Rather, push them to ask more and if you don't know the answer that is even better because that gives you the chance to go off and learn it together.

I can't even begin to explain the value in this inquisitive way of life. I see the fruits it can reap on a daily basis as I am blessed to be surrouneded by some fo the greatest minds I've ever known. And these minds have made a career- and thus a really solid standard of living- out of being curious.

Our minds are powerful, powerful tools that can, and will, take you to wherever it is you want to go. I am so passionate about this reality and it is this passion that drives me to spend more time doing things with Jackson and Audrey to build their minds, to encourage them to ask questions- to take them to new places, to read book after book, to pose new challenges, to include them in "adult" chores so that I can explain as we do and to keep them away from mindless activities as much as possible- and yes, I mean TV. I know I get judged on that one, that's I'm being overly controlling or overly OCD, but I'll die on my sword for my babies and for their potential which I'm convinced is well beyond anything we can even begin to imagine.

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