Recently, my eight year old inspired what has now become a new section of my blog, "Out of the Mouths of Babes". We know that children say the darnedest things and probably more often than not, their outbursts are more profound than those of us who have lived some decades because their thoughts are less likely to be clouded by prejudices or ill gotten experiences. Their words are usually straight from the heart, asking for no more than another person to bare witness to the purity behind them and/or to recognize their deliberate intent to drive you mad or send you falling off your bottom laughing hysterically.
So... On a routine drive through downtown Brooklyn on my way to dropping my daughters to school, my eight year old blurts out "Wow!". Nothing else, just "Wow!".
Knowing that this outburst of "Wow!" might be a complete set up, I dove right in. To be honest, I am rarely disappointed at the outcome her feathery thoughts but before I responded, I had a thought. I thought, I must teach my child how to successfully begin a conversation because these short baiting words that may or may not lead to an earth shattering revelation, are just no way to communicate in a fast paced society of people who half way listen. She must learn to effectively engage those she wished to converse with.
(Note to self: talk to daughter about how to properly initiate a conversation...)
So with a deep breath and a loaded, what's wow, I fed her need to share and I waited as her thought flooded in. She continued with, " I wish people were more like pigeons". Immediately I thought this time I'm wrong, my child must be exhausted and is talking crazily. My mind went straight to what pigeons are best known for; loose bowels, lack of inhibition, and poor table manners, but because she is known for thinking out of the box, perhaps she was trying to say that if people were more like pigeons, we'd be more relaxed... But I digress.
She noted that while we were waiting for the light to change she'd been paying attention to a large group of pigeons atop one of downtown Brooklyn's municipal buildings. She noticed that when one pigeon would join the group that the entire group would shift over to make room no matter how crowded the ledge. She also noted that an elderly man on the street scattered what looked like bread crumbs all over the sidewalk and that she was impressed with the speed in which the pigeons flew down to receive this generous gift while at the same time, making sure everyone was able to enjoy the feast. She concluded with, "Pigeons are great sharers".
I was left open mouthed and pensive as I silently uttered "wow". I found her thought truly profound. The fact that a child was able to identify such a valuable quality within a group of pigeons and the fact that she can already contemplate that the ability to share and be gracious to one another might be a rarity among our own, was even more fascinating. Chime in and let me know what the babes in your life are saying out loud and what animal you wish people were more like.
Right now pigeons have my vote.
Barefoot in Brooklyn