One of my favorite noises in the world are the sounds that my son makes as he is playing in his room by himself. I love it because it shows me that he has an amazing imagination and it allows me to accomplish some things around the house! One day recently he was playing with his “marvels” (marbles), and even though he has about 1000 cars, he was pretending the marbles were cars. He was making all kinds of cute car and crashing noises as I did some things in the kitchen until suddenly he said, “Mommy, not everyone has a car”. Now, most of us know that this is an incredible teachable moment for a parent so I took the ball and ran with it.
Instead of telling him how lucky we are and leaving it at that, I decided to ask him what it would be like if we didn’t have a car. I asked him how we would get groceries if we had to walk everywhere. We talked about how hot it is out and how hard it would be to walk to the store and carry all of the groceries back. His solution to this problem was that, “we could stop at a park and rest on the way home”. I was amazed by this because it was a very positive response. Instead of making it a negative he, on his own, found a solution to the difficulty of walking everywhere. That is what amazes me about kids. They aren’t negative and don’t have the negative frame of mind that we all tend to get stuck in at times. We continued the conversation discussing buses and bikes for transportation and eventually we did have the obligatory discussion about how fortunate we are to have a car and that we should appreciate the luxury it provides.
The fact that my 5 year old was able to be aware that having a car isn’t something that everyone is lucky to experience made me so proud. The first step is awareness and hopefully that leads to action as he grows up. His positive outlook and his awareness are just the beginning. Do you take the time to “stop at the park” when you are feeling down and out?