The other night I recruited my son to go to the store with me. My wife was getting Gillian ready for bed which means that Georgie has an hour until his bed time. Just enough time to keep me company as I went shopping for stuff for my lunch. So off we went to the local grocery store to pick up some things.
I have decided since me and my buddy have begun our exercise regimen (currently stalled until inner ear thingy is gone) that I would pack myself healthy lunches. I am a total creature of habit so if I find something I like, I can stick with that exact same thing for a very long time. I decide that a lovely salad should fit the bill nicely. With a few sunflower seeds and broccoli it will be a salad that I will not get tired of for a long time.
We immediately head over to the produce department to look for the lettuce and broccoli and such.
In the produce area my son asks me a question that sparked quite the conversation.
“Do you want this kind of broccoli?” Georgie asks me while holding up a bundle of fresh broccoli.
“Um, no. I want something that is already cut up. Like in a bag or something.” Says me.
“What about Lettuce? You want me to grab some?”
“Dude, I buy the salad in a bag. I don’t have time to cut vegetables and leaf lettuce.” I snobbishly reply
My son said nothing and put the lettuce back down.
I said, “Man, what a snob of me to say that I ‘don’t have time to cut vegetables’ as if that was below me. I am so stuck up huh?”
George looks at me and asks, “Why do grown ups have to hate themselves so much?”
“All adults hate themselves. ‘I am too fat. My hair looks bad. These jeans make me look ugly. I am a snob. My job sucks.’ I don’t get it”
“Dude, adults are just hard on themselves I guess.”
“Well, it seems to me that if adults would just put their mind to stuff they could be who they want to be.”
“I don’t think it’s that easy.” I said.
“I dunno dad. When you really think about it, I think that it is. If you want a better job then go to school and try hard and you will get it. If you want to lose weight, eat better and exercise. I mean, just put your mind to it and anyone can be and do whatever they want to.”
I did not have much to reply to that. I thought about when I was 12 and hated myself. Most kids Georgie’s age are not the ones to say “You can be what you want to be.” Most of the time this conversation happens but with the adult and child parts switched.
What wise words of encouragement has a child offered you? I would love to hear about it. I think kids are amazing like that.
I am thankful that my son has this insight at such a young age. I hope that he continues this attitude throughout life. Maybe I can learn to be as positive and motivated as he is.
According to him, I surely can. As long as I put my mind to it.