Saturday, May 24, 2014

Kids Just "Get" it.

They really do.

As adults, we get tend to become more rigid. More stuck in our ways. We develop "tunnel vision" as we go about our daily routines, and we don't think outside the box as often as we did when we were children.

The goal is to be a normal functional responsible adult, and fit in with society. Isn't it?

After all, most of us have had many years of training in our school years, having been taught to follow the rules, and stay in the lines. And never question why...

Granted, rules and regulations have an important role in childhood, and adulthood, and society as a whole. We need some schedules, and structure, right?

Kids seem to all go through the questioning phase at one time or another, asking the whys, and the whats, wheres, whens, and hows. Sometimes we answer them, teach them. Sometimes we tell them to be quiet, and just do what they're told. No blurting. No interrupting. 

I caught onto this very quickly as a child, and became a teacher's dream. Not a good thing. Nowadays, if someone tries to silence me, I might just lose my sh*t.

My oldest daughter is not compliant. She questions the rules, talks out of turn, and *gasp* questions adults! Challenges them, even. Speaks to them as if they are equals, even! She's currently struggling with a teacher in her school (thankfully not her homeroom teacher) who constantly accuses her of having a rude tone. While speaking to her in a rude tone. Do you see the problem here?

She replies that she can't help it. It's in her DNA!

God, I love that kid. SO proud of my spunky, stubborn, outspoken daughter, who has the nerve to think outside the box, even while people are trying to get her to fit back in it. And in awe that somewhere in the DNA of her two soft spoken, mild mannered parents, a powerhouse of a human was created. 

She's been diagnosed with Asperger's, a mild, high functioning form of autism. She's brilliant, and kindhearted. She's the future of our society, our world.

This is the child, who, for months, read my Chicken Encyclopedia every night, to wind down before falling asleep. To this day, she still rattles off chicken facts, and breeds, that she learned. Somewhere in the book, the disturbing practice of beak trimming was mentioned, as well as raising chickens in battery cages. She immediately questioned. As we all should.

As a society, we've tuned out so many things that don't fit into our tunnel vision. We're busy, leading normal lives. We leave the issues to other people. People who advocate for the animals, against factory farming and inhumane practices... then there are the folks who downplay that these issues are a problem, and actually insult the "tree huggers" and the protesters and the crazy activists and rebels. Being in denial seems to be considered normal in our society. There are many kind, well meaning people who remain in denial as well.

But when you know better, you do better. Who said that? Oprah? No, wait... I think Maya Angelou said it first... 

Wise words. We can let go of the guilt we feel when we learn that we have, in a small way, contributed to the demise of society. We can simply strive towards doing the right thing. Sometimes, it's not easy, being creatures of habit and set in our ways, and all. So I'm not judging. And I'm not perfect. And I still eat factory farmed meat, and eggs from battery hens, on occasion, but It's becoming less and less. And I'm trying. 

To get back to the point of this post, I've noticed that my kids just get it. I recently explained the harsh realities of industrial agriculture and factory farming practices (in the most tasteful way possible without sugar coating), to Annabelle. Of course we shouldn't cut the beaks off of chickens! They won't peck one another to death if they are given the space and freedom to simply act like chickens! And if we raise our own chickens humanely, the eggs are healthier, and chickens are happier. And if we grow our own garden, it's not sprayed with yucky pesticides, and the veggies are fresher, and healthier, because we take good care of the soil, and make sure there's lots of worms in it! And support local, small farms to put the factory farms out of business!

It really is that simple.

Why do grown-ups have to complicate everything? I'm consistently amazed at my own ability to over-complicate things, and the blinding brightness of the light bulb that enlightens my brain, when I realize that the solution really is that simple. Why couldn't I see it before? 

I think it's time to un-bury the questioning, free spirited, intuitive children within ourselves, and cultivate our childrens' natural curiosity and wisdom, so they don't lose it as they grow. 

They really are the future.

My son Gavin feeding Miss Red Hen

Bayleigh, my middle child/egg collector


  1. What a great post! And absolutely adorable photos :)

  2. beautiful post.... yes I agree with you ~ unleash that "free spirited, intuitive children within ourselves"....
    be blessed beautiful soul
    thank you for sharing these thoughts with us xxx

    1. Thank you Ange... it's something I need to remind myself to do often... you know, taking my own advice lol. It's funny how we as adults forget how to do something that comes so naturally to a child.