Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Child We Always Are




Having taught (mostly) kindergarten in the same school for 29 years, I've had the privilege to see many children grow into adults. This continuity of experience has been of great benefit. It's taught me to see, value, and listen to the child in me and in everyone I meet whether an infant or a great grandparent.

It's just as Leo Rosten, says:

“You can understand and relate to most people better if you look at them—no matter how old or impressive they may be—as if they are children. For most of us never really grow up or mature all that much—we simply grow taller. O, to be sure, we laugh less and play less and wear uncomfortable disguises like adults, but beneath the costume is the child we always are."
—Leo Rosten

(Credit goes to Barbra Stephens over at Honorable Mention for this quote.)

13 comments:

Alden Smith said...

Yes, and we ignore our inner child at our great peril - which sounds like such a cliche to say but its nonetheless true. Its the child in us that helps us laugh without inhibition, suspend our judgement on people and situations, sing spontaneously and lets us be lead by some creative impulse. - I like the term "uncomfortable disguises like adults" very telling.

steven said...

hey dan - i've been immersed in report cards for the last week and a half - and it likely shows over on the golden fish but hey!!! more importantly, i am seeing the children of children i have taught starting to show up in my school. i value the childlike in people regardless of age. i love it in fact. it is at our essence. seeing the children i taught as adults alows us that little moment - the remembering of our relationsip and then too the unfolding of our relationship. i am so pleased that you have shared this here dan.

Ribbon said...

'we don't stop playing because we grow old,
we grow old because we stop playing'
George Bernard Shaw


best wishes
Ribbon :)

The Pollinatrix said...

"The passionate heart never ages." ~John O'Donohue.

Age has always seemed rather abstract and arbitrary to me. The people I gravitate toward generally seem to be much younger or much older than me.

It must be absolutely amazing to watch all those kids grow up, and to know that you had a part in forming the kind of adults they turn out to be.

I wish you were going to be my two-year-old's kindergarten teacher, but I gave up on the idea of moving to California about a year ago. Wanna move to Taos?

Jenny Stevning said...

My daughter is 16. Yesterday, cut paper snowflakes while we watched a silly movie together. We hung them all up when we were done. Later, hot chocolate. I do it for her, but I also do it for me. I don't want to laugh less or play less. Beautiful post! Thank you!

Dan Gurney said...

Hi, Alden. I agree. We cannot ignore our inner child. He is us!

Dan Gurney said...

Steven, these days I consider the likes of you and me to be extremely fortunate. The continuity of work and career is way undervalued these days, I think.

Dan Gurney said...

Thanks, Ribbon. And because we stop exercising our imaginations.

Dan Gurney said...

Hi, Pollinatrix. Nope. I love Sebastopol too much. I hear Taos is nice, though. Maybe I'll visit there someday.

Dan Gurney said...

Hi Jenny. I'm glad you liked it. Thanks for saying so. Keep playing.

The Pollinatrix said...

Actually, I like the part of California you live in too. I'd be living in Guerneville right now if I'd have found a way to afford it. But Taos is great too.

Love the new background and photo. This is a very nice blue.

Dan Gurney said...

Thank, P! Well, if you move to Geurneville, your child could be in my kindergarten. We're not that far away.

Haddock said...

Leo Rosten is absolutely right.