We glibly talk about how the cycle of life brings us back to a childlike existence once we reach our dotage, but I had this brought home to me last week, through a very specific example.
I was on the phone to my elderly mother, and once we’d made arrangements to meet for lunch, she said, “Well, at least that’ll give me something to do.”
I asked her if she often found herself with nothing to do, or at a loose end, and she told me that these days she regularly got really bored.
Whether we like it or not, all grown-ups are some kind of role model to the children with whom they come into contact. We can never be certain when some throw-away thing we say or do will have a lasting impact on some little soul with a super absorbent brain.
This quote was given to me by a friend via a conversation on the ‘How to Speak Child’ Facebook page and it really struck a chord with me.
She wasn’t sure who it should be attributed to, and having conducted my own brief research (I googled it!) I couldn’t find any definitive answer to that query either. I did however find some contention around the issue.
There are some difficult lessons to be learned about human relationships during a lifetime, and we have to deal with some of the toughest ones in our tenderest years.
A friend of mine has a ten year old daughter who is presently going through the pain of a group of three friends splitting up, into one pair of best mates and one abandoned loner. My friend’s little girl is the one who’s been kicked out. I feel for her, I really do, I remember the same thing happening to me when I was eleven - that extra year giving no extra buffer - and I didn’t have to contend with social media and a world of more sophisticated methods to make a person feel isolated. I also feel for my friend.