Working with children these past four months has changed me more than I ever could’ve imagined. My work ethic and patience have increased dramatically, and I can legitimately say I learn something new every day from these little ones.
Yesterday one of my girls had an entire hamper-sized bin of foam blocks to herself. So, obviously, she built an ENORMOUS castle, complete with windows, car entrances, and spires. While she was pushing a car through the entrance she knocked over a good portion of the one wall she’d constructed with intense care.
I was prepared for the tears- the disappointment and frustration of knocking over something she’d just spent so much time and energy building. What she did next surprised me- she picked up the fallen blocks and created a new wall, much different than the original one that was there. “I made a new entrance Miss Liz!!” Without missing a beat, she was back to playing with her redesigned castle, not one tear shed. And who’d have thought- the wall did exactly what it needed to- stand there.
So many times I’ve been unreasonably upset when something didn’t go exactly the way I planned. I spend hours working on a project and it immediately gets ripped apart by the rest of the team. I have the perfect idea for something (always, duh) and the others don’t think so. I take a big risk and it blows up in my face. As adults we get completely consumed with achieving what we consider perfection. Even when I’m trying to write a blog post, I agonize for hours/days/weeks over the right wording, title, photo, topic, comma placement, literally anything. When really, as long as it gets the idea across, it’s perfectly fine. That foam castle was just what I needed to remember the fun involved in artistic expression.
Obviously, not every interaction with kids will give you some kind of esoteric thing to think about (one of my boys tearfully told me that he’s from Jupiter), but sometimes just seeing how they interact with the world is enough to refresh my mind and give me a new perspective.