How many of you have children in 4th grade? Age 9-10 years old. Have you ever wondered what life looked like from their perspective? Have you ever wondered if classmates are mean to them? What they dream of? What they like about themselves? What has made them feel like crying? Do you know those things already or do you long to have answers to those questions?
If you think back, you may remember I had a post entitled "All About Me". It was my attempt to let my readers know a little bit of the background to the person writing this blog. Well, while looking through all of these old scrapbooks, I came across my "All About Me" book written in 4th grade again. Reading these entries written by my 9-10 year old self was so incredibly eye-opening. I was brought to tears at my own honesty and openness to tell my teacher what I was thinking and feeling. Within my words I hear my creativeness, my hurts, my dreams, my insecurities and my hopes. Some of these same thoughts are still within me as an adult while many are thankfully healed by the Truths I have found in Christ. Some of my interests then are still my interests now, which was so cool to realize how far back those actually can be traced. I'll spare you my own thoughts about each of these as that would make this post crazy long. Instead, I'll simply post several of the entries for you to read for yourself...(and just so you know, "Tiffi" was our family dog)
In a day of age where too many children are left to their own thoughts and feelings with no one to express them to, I found myself hoping and praying our children will one day have assignments like this one at school. A chance to let it out. A chance to tell someone what they think, how they feel, what they desire, what they are scared of. I am also praying for our teachers to be people who will not only read these answers, but come alongside these students to help sort through it all. School doesn't always have to be about math problems or complete sentences...it is also the chance to learn about yourself and how you can impact the world. A chance for a teacher to see beyond a letter grade, a test score, or a reading level to the heart of the young person in their classroom. Personally, I would side on the idea that the latter is even more important than the former.
As a parent, I also pray Micah and I are always seen by our children as a safe place to share their thoughts and feelings openly. I know we long for questions and topics such as these to be shared by our children (and have even already begun asking questions like these). We long for the questions in this "All About Me" booklet to be normal and regular questions asked BY US AS PARENTS in our very own home. Whether they are asked around a dinner table, while praying together as a family before bed, while driving to the store in the van, or as they come off the bus from a long day at school, it doesn't matter really, we just want to be asking them. The last thing I want to learn from a teacher is something incredibly deep about my own child. The opposite sounds so much more appealing--already knowing those deep thoughts of my child and having assignments like these enlighten others of what I already am blessed to know. Time will tell if our hopes and dreams to be a family of completely open communication comes to pass, but for now, we are certainly striving for this and already implementing this type of openness. May the Lord bless our efforts beyond our wildest dreams!
If you are a person with a child around this age, I challenge you to ask the hard questions...ask the easy questions...just ask questions! These beautiful children have so much to offer the world if people are willing to invest in them.