Good Morning Everyone,
Can you remember back, when you were a child, how everyday things appeared to you back then? Can you close your eyes and remember how big grown ups seemed to you?...and they seemed to be even bigger, depending on their level of authority! For instance, my mom when she was mad at me, and coming at me with a switch, was huge and scary! With few exceptions, I always put my teachers on a pedastal and they seemed so big and wise...but they didn't compare to our school principal, who was a very large man whom we held in awe! He was "the enforcer"; you never wanted to be sent to his office, for his spankings with the leather strap were legend!...and most probably, exagerated.
Even mundane things back then appeared larger in the eyes of a child. I still remember our school cafeteria trays; they were made of a strange combination of cork and melmac or something and served as both plate and tray. As we lined up in an orderly fashion at the serving counter our "hair net hostesses" (usually someone's mom or grandmom that we knew) would dole out white bread in one pocket, jiggling jello in another, then we moved on to the mac n cheese or meatloaf or fish sticks or whatever...and sat down on low tables that, for us, we're just the right size! But those plate/trays seemed huge to me back then. Even a brown bag sandwich from home was something we had to maneuver with two hands! And those little half-pint cartons of milk were just the right size.
As I get older, I have the luxury of time to recall those child hood years and it is such a delight to re-visit them! Does anyone remember when we made shoe-box theaters? We would bring to school a shoe box and were shown how to cut a circular hole at the end of the shoe box and a similar one in the lid. We would then make stick figured people and little trees and bushes using plants or materials from the yard. At Christmas time we would make shoe box nativity scenes and then thrill to the scenes as we viewed it through the hole at the end of the box. More spectacular were those little Viewmaster slide machines with the little round disks of pictures of the Roman Colleseum or the Eifel Tower or little dutch people standing next to a windmill. I loved those viewmasters; they magically swept me away to distant lands and peoples!
I wish, when I was raising my kids, that I had the luxury of hindsight; the luxury of time given me now that affords me a better understanding of what the world looks like to a child. I wouldn't have been so tough on them. Perhaps, in an ideal world, grandparents could always be around to temper the harshness that a child faces every single day, whether from a harried parent trying to make a living for his family, or marital discord, or taxing schedule, or for the harshness that comes from a school bully or the frightening real world events for which the child has so little comprehension.
Thank God, I have wonderful children who are wonderful parents. I don't live near any of my grandchildren now so my visits to them are pretty special..and memorable. Although I've never told my kids this, I often look at my grandchildren's photo on Facebook and focus on their eyes....and I try to imagine what they are thinking and seeing at the moment of the camera click. I was also fortunate to visit two of them at Christmas time; it was such a joy because I can now more clearly see what they are seeing....thanks to my own visitations to a child hood I hold so dear.
Like a child peeking through the hole of that little "shoe box theater" I now have the freedom to filter out all of life's distractions and see the magic and wonder that can only truly be seen through the eyes of a child.