In the midst of our move and lack of internet, I was able to take a step back and do a lot of observing.
I’ve been able to explore things with Maddie, and see things through her eyes, as well as spend more time connecting with other parents in our new area.
One conversation I had with a Mom I met over the weekend really opened my eyes.
Her daughter was Maddie’s little soul mate! Ran right up and introduced herself, just like Maddie does whenever she’s within running distance of anyone under the age of 10! It was adorable!
They were instantly on the same page and having a blast pretending they were birds, building nests, imagining a storm was coming, it was fantastic to watch!
While I was chatting with the little girls Mom, she said she was “so happy to see there were other kids like her daughter”…”at school a lot of the kids think she’s weird”.
Because she’s friendly.
Because she’s confident.
Because she’s eager to open up to new people.
Because she has an active imagination that can take her somewhere else in an instant…and she wants you to come along!
This is Maddie to a ‘T’!
Usually this conversation would have probably sent my brain into a tailspin of “Oh no! I hope kids don’t make fun of her!”…but since I had some time to actually explore my feeling around this, I ended up more concerned about the other children!
What are these kids being taught that at 5 years old, it’s “weird” to have an imagination? It’s “weird” to want to make new friends? It’s “weird” to not judge others?
Where along the line did we start teaching our kids that they are better than others, or that they need to “grow up” and stop pretending?
I watched Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory with Maddie last week, and I really think this song is inspiring, and completely all around fantastic. If we could all teach our kids that the world is their oyster, and imagination is something you should seek out and strengthen, we’d have a much more advanced (and happy!) population!
When no one is thinking outside the box, and creating, and thinking “what if”?
It scares me that Maddie might give into these pressures in school and try to conform. I hope she doesn’t!
Different is what keeps the world turning…that is what we need to start teaching our kids!
Chat with me in the comments below…I would love to hear your thoughts/experiences around this!
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