Childhood Innocence

All too often, we forget the innocence of our children. I had one of those moments tonight with Xander.

He had a rough day at school and an even harder time getting through afternoon therapy. He has had one of those days where nothing is right, and he’s just down right cranky. A true test of parental patience kind of day.

We were sitting in the living, with TLC’s show Abby and Brittany on in the background. For those unfamiliar with the show, it follows 22-year-old conjoined twins, Abby and Brittany Hensel. They each have a separate head, but their body is joined. Each twin controls her half of their body. It’s incredibly interesting and inspirational to watch these women conquer life, all while overcoming their struggles with optimism.

Xander was playing cars, and finally looked up and engaged with the TV. Without hesitation he said, “I wish I had two heads…” and trailed off back to his cars. Surprised, I asked him why. He was already in tune with his cars again, but I pressed forward asking him again. He responded with, “THEY look nice.” I sat back in awe. My child, who has had so many stares and whispers when times were rough, thought these girls looked nice. The thought of having two heads didn’t freak him out, or cause him to stare or make faces. He saw them as two people, who happened to share a body, and that they looked like friends.

This encounter with him really made me think about the innocence of our children. Even at 5, I see other children looking sideways at Xander when he has a hard time. I think it’s normal to be confused when something outside of your normal inserts itself. The real question that this opened up is when do children hit that stage where their normal is established. Where they are no longer able to so freely accept people who are different than them, wether it be physically or developmentally? As an adult, I looked at these 22-year-old conjoined twins with curiosity, and wonder. How do they drive a car? How do they prepare food? Do they have different tolerance levels to alcohol? If one is sick, is the other automatically sick too? All these questions, and my son simply thought they had a built-in friend to be with all the time. It was a definite reminder that where having questions and seeking answers is never a bad thing, sometimes we need to slow down and appreciate the simplicity of things.

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