A tweet from my friend Jin Yang reminded me of how often we adults take children for granted, and how important it is to follow through what they’re trying to say to us.
Yang’s tweet was about a blog post called Wood Tape, in which Scott Nesin writes about an incident that happened with his son. What follows is a remarkable account of what can happen if you give your children a listen. Here’s just a brief excerpt, though you really need to read the entire post:
My wife calls me at work, and we have the usual end-of-the-day chat. Then:
“Oh, by the way, Guy wants you to take him to the hardware store, he wants to get some tape.”
“What kind of tape?”
“He says he wants ‘wood tape’.”
“Uhhh, ok. When?”
“Sometime this weekend. He is really looking forward to going.”
Guy is my four-year-old son. No problem, I just need a fraction of an excuse to visit a hardware store…
After the entire story had unfolded, Nesin writes:
… I think back over the day and see the signs now. I remember earlier bits and pieces that all make sense. I should not be surprised, this is not the first time something like this has happened. I certainly didn’t think it was beyond a four-year-old’s ability, but I just never saw it coming. I keep trying not to underestimate the little stinkers, but they keep sneaking up on me.
My own predicament is no different. As a parent, I try my best not to underestimate my children, by encouraging them to voice their thoughts and see them through. Despite that, time and again, I have been surprised by the immense potential that they show to absorb a new concept or embrace a new idea or deliver on something that I would not expect them to do at such an early age.
Nesin’s post was a reminder that the limitations exist only in our minds, as adults. Perhaps, because we have forgotten how to be like children.