It takes a while for us humans to develop “filters” that help us deal with each other. We learn soon on that you can’t just say everything you want because sometimes there are dire consequences. Even now I often wish my guardian angel would send me this message, “ Alert! Susan, you’re about to say something really stupid!” Maybe she does but in the interest of being witty (that’s what I tell myself) I’ll say the stupid thing anyway. For the most part, though, I’ve suffered enough consequences to have roughly 889 filters in place.
Now consider children, the very little ones, before school ruins them. No filters but the pure honesty of thought and observation. Like these two instances that were burned into my brain recently.
We were at the annual family soccer game held for three whole years in a row now on the huge side yard at the home of our eldest son. As I sat cheering in my lawn chair Sierra, age 2 ½, sidled up beside me. With me sitting and her standing we were head to head and as I acknowledged her presence, I noticed her focusing in on my eyes. The angle of the sun allowed her to see the contact lense in my right eye. “Sierra, can you see that little circle in my eye?” No answer. More staring. “It’s a little lense that helps grandma see.” I smiled as she looked into the other eye as well. Time froze as she puzzled this out.
Suddenly she looked up, her concentration broken. “It hurt?” she asked.
I had to chuckle. “No, it doesn't hurt.” I hugged her as I marveled at a tiny mind that would even wonder if something in my eye hurt. I just hope she doesn't try putting a marble or a Lego into her own eye in an effort to verify my claim.
Not too long after that we were at youngest son’s home by the lake. The kids were bouncing around laughing, swimming, slurping on Capri Suns and having a grand old time as were the adults. During a break in the action, right after we ate, Melodi, barely 5, jumped into my lap. Melodi is Sierra’s sister. As we chattered away I noticed, again, the laser focus. This time on my mouth. I’d been loading on the charm again, laughing away, witty as all get out, teasing her a bit.
Then my keenly observant little granddaughter leaned close as I smiled broadly. “Grandma, you have a yellow tooth,” she said.
In about a nano second wit and charm deserted me. Off into the tall weeds as I sat there feeling like Granny Ozark wondering how soon I’d need dentures. And I’d only get them if Roy Bob raised enough money selling paw paws to afford the operation. Yeesh.
Yeah, filters are a great thing. But maybe our guardian angels hold off on the alerts for the first few years. After all, they need a laugh now and then, too.
PS: Roy Bob will be in your neighborhood next weekend. Please buy some paw paws. Thank you.
Image: Danilo Rizzuti Free Digital Photos