- Family and Parenting
The Wisdom Of Children
As Children View The World They Live In
Have you ever considered the vast wisdom in the innocence of a child's thoughts?
At sixty-two years old, I realize I have been raising children, in some semblance, for fifty-two years. That is a long time!
When I look back over the years, I see their beautiful faces filled with wonder and love and it makes me smile.
Then I remember their sense of humor as they learn about the world around them and I laugh out loud!
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Come Walk With Me
Along The Lane Of My Memories
In 1960, I was offered my first baby sitting job at the age of ten. By the time I was thirteen, I babysat every night of the week, except for Sunday. Sunday, I reserved for choir practice and church.
I have been a Mom for thirty-five years. I raised my own two children, finished raising my husband's two, worked six years as a foster mother, adopted a foster daughter, and cared for my nine year old granddaughter, from the age of seven weeks until she was off to kindergarten, while my daughter worked.
But it has been more than just the work of tending to a child's needs. So much time with children has afforded me a great deal of knowledge, derived from their quick minds and the wonderful way they look at the world! How lucky I have been to have shared the experience of childhood with so many!
Come, now, down the lane of my memories and laugh with me at the wisdom of some of the children who have walked with me.
The Little Philosopher
At the age of five, Matthew always had his own way of philosophizing about the world around him. While driving home one night, he began to talk over many things passing through his young mind. One of the comments he made really stayed with me. He said, "When monsters and stuff and bad guys are chasing you, just fly up to Heaven. But you have to watch out for lightening. God will protect you. I always want God on my team!"
Upon returning from the barber shop with Grampa, who, by this time, was bald with exception to the sides and back, I ask Matthew how Grampa's haircut went. Matthew, now seven years old, replied, "Grampa got a really cool haircut. You know, Gramma, like a bowl haircut, only half a bowl."
Our grandson, Matthew's, philosophy on his fourth birthday:
"When I grow five, I'm gonna be REALLY OLD!"
Matthew's birthday is just three days before Grampa's, so we were at a restaurant celebrating their special days together. When their desserts, complete with a candle, arrived, the waitress ask Matthew his age. He answered, five, and then Grampa looked up and said he was "5--0." Matthew thought a minute, looking up at Grampa. Then he said to the waitress, "We are the same age 'cause zeros don't count."
Our little granddaughter, Devin, is a quick thinker, too. One afternoon, when she was three, Devin was out in the garden with her daddy. He had been working all afternoon on a Butterfly Garden for her, weeding and putting in new plants. She, of course, had gotten dirty, too. Suddenly, she looked at herself and exclaimed, "Daddy, Mommie is really gonna be mad when she sees how dirty you 'let' me get!"
In Preston's Eyes
While standing in line for checkout one evening, my daughter noticed Preston looking up at a girl in the next line. Her short hair was dyed bright red with a yellow Mohawk streak down the middle, from the front to the back. Preston just kept staring. All of a sudden he exclaimed in a loud voice, "OH! A Chicken!!"
Devin, at the age of two, was quickly discovering the world of words. You get so excited as they are finally able to speak simple words. One day, I decided to take her out for lunch to a nice restaurant, just the two of us. As we sat waiting for our food to arrive, a gentleman, about my age, passed our table. As he did so, to my total humiliation, Devin, in a very loud, clear voice said to him, "Hey, Baby!"
When Devin was two years old, we spent every morning together, five days a week. It was so much fun to watch her reactions to the little things in her realm. One morning, while I was dressing, Devin stepped into my white bedroom slippers she found on the bathroom floor. Looking down at her feet, she exclaimed, "Yook, I yook yike Mickey Mouse!"
Boys Are The Daddies!
My son ask one day, while in the car with his sister and me, how babies were born. I proceeded to explain in terms he would understand. He took the information quite well and was pleased to have this new knowledge. That was until his sister, in her infinite, 8 year old wisdom, said, "Sometimes the baby won't come out so the doctor has to do a Caesarian. And that means they cut the Mommie's stomach open." Poor Chad sat bolt upright and exclaimed, "Nobody's gonna cut my stomach open!" Unfortunately, we both failed to tell him that boys don't have babies!
Grampa's Going On A Trip???
Devin was misbehaving and Grampa called her down. She began to argue with him. Since she was only four, he immediately put on a very stern face and raised his voice slightly, telling her that she must obey him and not talk back. She stood quietly then, without any further argument. A few days later, he wanted to talk to her on the phone and she declined. Once off the phone, I ask her why she wouldn't talk to him. She said, "He used his mean face and I am going to send him to Heaven."
While visiting the zoo, we stopped to watch the attendant feed the crocodiles. He threw four whole, raw chickens into the pit but the crocodile paid absolutely no attention, refusing to eat. Disgusted, Matthew, three years old, walked right up to the attendant and said, "Hey! You should have given them chicken McNuggets!" The attendant asked, "Do you think they would like McNuggets better?" Matthew answered easily, "Sure!"
Our daughter and her husband were in the car with their two boys in the back seat, driving home from church. All of a sudden, they saw flashing lights coming from behind them and began to pull over, wondering what they had done. Once they stopped the car, they looked back, but there was no officer behind them. Instead, in the back seat, two year old, Preston's, new Thomas The Train shoe lights were flashing off and on.
A Special Moment
Little Stephanie was one of our first foster daughters, coming into our home at the age of six. Life had been difficult for her and her older sister, Ashleigh, and I wanted them to have some of the things they had missed along the way. One Sunday morning, as I dressed Stephanie for church, I opened a box of new, black paten leather shoes. Once she was dressed, she walked over to the full length mirror to see the results. She stood there staring at her reflection and then down at her shoes. She turned her foot this way and that, smiled her biggest smile, and exclaimed in her sweet, Central Floridian drawl, "They shore are shinny!"
(The girls were adopted in 2002 and have a wonderful home.)
The Eyes Of The Beholder
On Christmas morning, three year old, Branson, opened a gift containing a new T-shirt which had an inscription on both the front and the back. As he held it up to himself, against his chest, his mother ask him to turn it around so that she could read the back. So, Branson turned himself around with his back to her, still holding the T-shirt against his chest.
I took Devin to lunch at Red Lobster, one of her favorite places. When the waitress arrived, Devin immediately began to place her order. "Hello. I will have chicken tenders with honey mustard. And would you please bring me a side order of French fries, too." The waitress then ask what she would like to drink. "Chocolate Milk, Please." Without a breath or asking me, she continued, "And my Gramma will have salmon, cooked with nothing on it, and mashed potatoes and broccoli. We are going to share the Broccoli." Then the waitress ask her what her Gramma would like to drink. "Oh, my Gramma will have water." "Would your Gramma like lemon in her water?" "Oh, No, my Gramma wouldn't like lemon in her water. That would be yucky!" The waitress asked, "Just how old are you, sweetie?" "I am four years old." "Well, you are adorable." Devin replied, "Thank you very much. And you are Very Cute!" We have a waitress for life!
While Devin, now five, was watching The Little Mermaid with one of her Mommies' friends recently, Cinderella's Castle was pictured on the screen. To make small talk, the friend asked Devin if she had ever seen Cinderella's Castle. Devin turned to them, placing her small hand on their shoulder, and smugly replied, "No, Sweetie, I had lunch there!"
Gramma's Box But Branson's Treasure
When little Branson was eighteen months old, I sent him a yellow ceramic duck, for his liquid bath soap, with a pump attached to the top. He loved ducks and told everyone, "Ducks say fwack fwack." It was boxed to ship in an old Hummel box with a flip tab closure. When he received it, his mother allowed him to open it, telling Branson, "Look, Gramma sent you a box!", since she was unaware of what was inside. Branson opened the box, using the little flip tab, took out the duck, handed it to my daughter, and re-closed the box and the little tab. For the next week, he proudly carried his new "box" wherever he went! His parents liked the duck.
Early one morning, two year old Devin, who was spending the night with Grampa and I, wanted to climb into bed with us. Since Grampa was still sleeping, I told her to be very quiet and try to go back to sleep. She was very still for some time and I thought she was asleep. When I looked, however, her eyes were open. I ask if she couldn't sleep and all she said was, "Papa! Noise!"
By the time Devin was twenty-two months old, her favorite movie was "Little Mermaid". Whenever it came to the wedding scene and Ariel and Eric kissed, she always said, "I Love You."
Carlyn, Devin's Mommie, was always very inquisitive. She came to me one day with this question, "Mommie, sit down. I want you to 'splain to me how babies are born. And I don't want you to say 'God does it.' So, I sat down and proceeded to explain in terms best for a five year old to understand. When ask how the baby got out, I explained that the bones automatically opened for the baby and then re-closed once the baby is delivered. I was concerned about this information until she exclaimed, "I know, Mommie! Just like the doors at Winn-Dixie!" Maybe 'automatic' was not the best choice of words?!
My Brother, My Friend
Zachary, our three year old grandson, and I were sitting at the table talking while he ate an orange. I asked if he knew he looked like his daddy. He said, "no." "So," I asked, "you don't think you look like daddy?" "No." I asked him why. "Because, I'm not big enough." "Then, when you're big, you'll look like daddy." "No!" "Then who will you look like?" Zachary sat up very straight and replied, "My brudder, Matthew!"
Pickin' On Grampa Again!
Little Ashleigh was one of my first foster daughters, coming into our home at the age of seven. She and her little sister, Stephanie, were delightful. Ashleigh was the deep thinker of the two and quite observant of her surroundings. One day, as we passed my husband in the garage who was stewing over something that had angered him and was waving his arms in the air, which was customary of his annoyance, Ashleigh made a quiet assessment of the situation. Once we were in the car, she ask what he was mad about. I ask her how she knew he was angry. She exclaimed, "Because he is flappin' his wings again."
(The girls were adopted in 2002 and have a wonderful home.)
Meeting Devin's Approval
One Sunday afternoon, Brad, my daughter, Audrey's, new boyfriend, and Audrey met four year old, Devin, and me at a restaurant for lunch after church. At the appropriate time, Devin said the blessing this way: "God Bless Aunt Audrey's food, God bless Gramma's food, God Bless, uh, God Bless, uh, what is your name again?, God bless Brad's food, and God bless my food. Amen" Then she turned to me, saying, "Gramma, he is a beautiful man!" Audrey and I began to laugh and Brad started blushing. Then, as Brad turned the shade of a tomato, Devin began to sing loudly in a nice little soprano voice, "He is a beautiful man, beautiful man..."
Matthew Strikes Again!
At four years old, our Matthew was very impressed with his Uncle Chad, who was a wrestler in high school. As Chad passed through the kitchen one morning, Matthew turned to me very seriously and said, "Dada doesn't have muscles like Unca Chad because he's fluffy!"
The Practical Joker
When our son, Chad, was seven, he had two older sisters of ten and thirteen. One afternoon, I heard a commotion from the back of the house. When I got down the hall, the girls were in their rooms, which were across the hall from each other. Chad was sitting on the floor in the hallway laughing and laughing. He had taken a rope and tied the doorknobs together, with the rope stretched across the hall. When one tried to open their door, it simply pulled the other shut and the same in reverse. Neither could get out of their rooms. They were livid! I immediately told him to untie the rope and let them out. He agreed to do so and I went back to the kitchen. Ten minutes later, they were still screaming at him so I returned to the bedroom area. The rope was still in place and Chad was still sitting on the floor with his back to me. I began to reprimand him for not minding me and ask him why he had not released the girls. He turned to me with tears streaming down his face and cried, "I'm Afraid To!!"
Wings Of Whispers
by Eugenia S. Hunt
A gift from God,
A baby's smile,
Loaned to us
For just a while.
Our wish for you,
To sleep, protected,
In God's Plan.
To touch your ear,
Sung by Angels
Wings of Whispers,
Shields of grace,
His smile, forever,
Upon your face!
Photo: Our grandson, Branson, at six months...the poem was written for him when he was born.
What Have I Learned From The Children In My World?
When I was a teenager, the children in my charge, as their sitter, taught me responsibility and understanding of the needs of others. They showed me the quality of love and affection derived from being in their presence. Each gave me pleasure beyond my dreams as I gazed on their faces of total delight in seeing me walk through the door.
My biological children taught me how to love someone else more than my own life and how it feels to have my heart walk around outside of my body for the rest of my life. They have taught me what real worry is when cradling a sick child or in fear for their safety.
Raising step children has brought me to realize yet another step in responsibility. The responsibility of someone else's child weighs even heavier on your shoulders than the responsibility of your own offspring.
Our adopted foster daughter has taught me patience beyond measure. I have learned, through her, the ability to control my anger, leaving it behind quickly. And she has taught me about accepting what I cannot change, saving the guns for the bigger battles.
My foster children have taught me to look forward to the future and the next challenge with enthusiasm and excitement. If they can trust and love us after what the world has dealt them, we can surely tackle whatever lies ahead with ease.
I am so thankful for the children of my world who teach me daily to see it more clearly, deriving the God given beauty of it often lost to adulthood.
Thank you for walking down the lane of my memories with me. May you enjoy your walk as much as I have enjoyed mine.
The Grandparent's Gathering Place Group
Welcome Parents Group
Who Is Mom To The Zoo?
Born in the small town of Pendleton, South Carolina, in 1950, I was the oldest of two, five years my sister's senior. It was a wonderful place to grow up where the entire town raised its children. I was always surrounded by people who loved and looked out for me. I graduated from High School with the same people who were in my kindergarten class. At 58, my childhood friends are still my friends. I feel so fortunate to have known such a childhood.
After college, I worked at Clemson University until May 1972. At that time, I married and lived in Glyfada, 22 miles from Athens, Greece for two years...via USAF. We then moved to North Dakota for another two years before returning to South Carolina.
We divorced after 16 years and two children. I married my best friend two years later and moved to Florida in 1988 and together we have raised my husband's son and daughter and my son and daughter...one federal officer, one pastor's wife, one sixth grade school teacher, and the other, after working for Florida Power and Light since age 19, is now with AT&T. In 1996, I adopted my stepdaughter. We are blessed with four grandsons and one granddaughter.
In 1999, we became foster parents with the Children's Home Society and had a number of children under our roof in the next 5 years. In 2001, we adopted a 13 year old girl, whom we first met at the age of 11, and is now 21. I also have spent more time in a courtroom than I care to think about, fighting for the rights of the children in our care. In 2004, I turned in my license so that I could be a full time Mom to our special needs daughter and keep our infant granddaughter five days a week while her mother was teaching.
Bill, my husband, is a retired USAF Air Traffic Controller. He is now working out of the country, on Ascension Island, with Computer Science Raytheon, as their chief controller, contracted out of Patrick AFB, Florida. This enables him to continue to do the job he loves, air traffic, and aid the military. He flies in and out on furlough and I handle things here at home. I jokingly call myself a Single Married Woman.
Actually, I am a retired Accountant/Credit Manager, now a housewife, where I enjoy writing, singing, piano, and sewing. I have had numerous poems and short stories published and have sung in churches and for church organizations for years, as well as weddings, a couple of variety shows, and even at my daughter's, and later my son's, weddings, one of the hardest things I have EVER done. We are members of a Baptist church where I am a soloist and sing in the choir. I am also a member of the Women's Bible Study Group and work on the Mission's Committee.
And, last but not least, we have two singing dogs. Raven is a thirteen year old Skipperkee/Chow with bucked teeth and attitude and Whisper, our nine pound poodle, who thinks himself a Doberman.
I have been Mom To The Zoo since the morning after our wedding. My friend, Lee, who was staying with our four children and two dogs answered the phone from a sound sleep, "Hunt Zoo, Zookeeper Speaking."
My life has involved many changes and avenues that I would never have dreamed of and has given me challenges that I never thought I was equal to. But, I have found that God has a plan and, if you follow His lead, you can handle anything he puts in your hands. However, you have to first learn to listen to Him. No matter what we want from life, it must come in His time. He has given my husband and me more than we could have began to imagine back in high school and we have found that what we thought was so important for our futures back then was nothing to what we have done so far. At 58, I have learned from our foster children, to look forward to the future and the next challenge with enthusiasm and excitement. If they can trust and love us after what the world has dealt them, we can surely tackle whatever lies ahead with ease. Life is a series of learning experiences and I continue to find life to be both a challenge and a joy which grows with each passing year. I learn more and more about myself with each passing day!
PLEASE FAVORITE THIS LENS AT THE TOP WITH THE LITTLE YELLOW STAR IF YOU FEEL IT IS WORTHY! THANK YOU!