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Isn't it pretty?

Thursday, October 20, 2005

The Expressiveness of Children

Spending the last few days in Baltimore was wonderful and hard at the same time. It felt like being back home; I knew my way around, I felt comfortable and in my element there. At the same time, I was a bit of an outsider - I noticed little changes in the places I used to frequent, I was staying in someone else's home as a guest and I had to run around trying to see everyone in a small amount of time rather than my former leisurely visiting. Seeing all my friends was wonderful, I felt like the months hadn't passed since I had last seen them. It was easy to fall into my old routine with them all, even though lots of things had changed. But what touched me the most was my friends' children. I have several friends with children ranging from babies to 4-year-olds whose homes I used to visit extremely frequently, and I had developed nice relationships with the kids as well as their parents. I have been told by their parents how their children ask about me and say my name often, but actually seeing them and their reactions was so incredible. What is so beautiful about these kids, is that children haven't yet learned to hide their emotions. Whatever they feel is right there on their faces, open and ready to be shared. The infants and babies I saw didn't remember me, but they had big smiles on their faces when I saw them. The 2-3 year olds were a little shy and wary at first; I am sure they remembered me, but probably couldn't quite place me or figure out where I had been for so long. After a few minutes though, it was back to old times - the biggest changes being that they are now pronouncing my name so well it brings tears to my eyes to hear those little "Shoshana"'s come from their mouths. I was taken by the hand and shown toys and games and was given hugs and kisses galore. I had little bodies curled up on my lap and was handed books to read. So sweet. I knocked on the door of my favorite 4-year old and heard his sweet voice asking, "Who is it?" When I said my name, I heard a squeal and "Shoshana!" with a scurry to open the door. I was greeted with a giant hug and bouncing up and down. What a welcome. The unabashed love and enthusiasm of a 4-year old is something that I could take a lot of lessons from. I think it is sad that adults feel the need to temper our reactions. Why do we have to be so reluctant to show that we miss and care about those in our lives? Why do I feel the need to hide my tears of happiness at seeing old friends, and those tears of sadness at leaving them? But I do. For now, I am going to enjoy, and miss so much, those kids and their uncovered emotions. I will hold on to those moments tightly for a long while.

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