“Where did you get your ears pierced?”

I asked a preschooler, “Where did you get your ears pierced?” She said, “Oh, you just go to the mall. You then ask the lady to get two earrings. If you get only one, my brother says you turn into a pirate.”

Ahoy Mate!

Ahoy Mate!

How many things do we just take for granted without really analyzing them? I fear we do that more than we would like to admit. Things make sense, and there is no real reason to think deeper and see other meanings.  We take other people’s opinions at face value or we do not look at our own thoughts with clear vision.

As adults we know that we will not turn into a pirate if we get only one ear pierced. However, are we certain that drinking out of a plastic bottle does not cause cancer? Can a penny placed on a railroad track really derail a train? Can an alligator survive in a sewer? Will bad luck really follow you and all of your friends if you do not forward an email to 5 people before the sun goes down?

Not everything is as clear as we would like it to be. Some things are clear and we just don’t see it. The trick is to take the time to really look and think for yourself. Try on one earring. Do you feel like yelling,” Ahoy Mate?!”

  • What is something you have taken for granted that you really have never proven yourself?
  • Are you a person that tends to analyze things or take them at face value?
  • What are the benefits and detriments with either?
  • Bonus question: If you could be a pirate for a day would you? (Sometimes thinking like a child is just FUN 🙂 )

“Now and then we had a hope that if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates.”

Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi

“What will you name your new baby brother or sister?”

I asked a preschooler, “What will you name your new baby brother or sister?”  He said, “You have to think a long, long time about a name because a name is something you have for a long, long time.”

What is the baby's name?

What is the baby’s name?

A new baby has come into the world this week named Prince George Alexander Louis. A lot of thought goes into the name of a prince. Tradition is important to royalty. There is a lot of history with kings named George. Some people are wondering if it is only coincidence that Princess Diana had nephews named George, Alexander and Louis. We may never know the real reason behind that baby’s name, but he will be a part of history for a long, long time.

Most of us have names that our parents gave us at birth. Some of us love our names. Some of us wish we had different names. Some of our names are easy to spell and some of us have to spell out loud each time someone asks our names. Each year there are lists that tell us what names are popular and what the names mean. In the United States, parents can look at these lists or go out on their own. Gwyneth Paltrow has a daughter named Apple.  Sylvester Stalone’s daughter is named Sage Moonblood.  Frank Zappa’s daughter, Moon Unit is a sister to Dweezil,  Diva Muffin and Ahmet Emuukha Rodan.

A name is a gift from our parents that we use every day of our life. We all want to hope our parents thought through the best options for us. So much of our identity comes from what others call us. Prince George is able to change his name as he becomes a king. He does not need to keep the same name his parents so thoughtfully choose.

Most people never really get around to changing their name. They may tweak “Nicholas” into “Nick” to truthfully say they use a nickname, but nothing is usually done to legally change the name our parents choose for us. A person who does not really know our personality looks at us as a baby and gives us something that we will use forever. That is quite a responsibility.

Anyone that is remembered has to have a name. There is nothing wrong with taking a long, long time to decide a name. As history proves, there will be records of our actions for a long, long time. Our job is to make our names represent something positive instead of the alternative. Just maybe a good name has more to do with how we are remembered than how it rolls off our tongue. Just maybe a good name is more about how people use it rather than how we spell it.  Just maybe a good name has the ability to shine forever-which is a long, long time.

  • If you could have any name, what would it be?
  • Think about a time you may have judged a person by their name.
  • If your name was an attribute like compassionate or loving or nonjudgmental, what would you want to be known for?
  • Will you take time this week to introduce yourself to someone using your name and learn their name? After meeting them, what attribute name would you give them? And more importantly, what attribute name will they be thinking of you?

“The name we give to something shapes our attitude to it.”  Katherine Patterson

“One of the greatest disadvantages of hurry is that it takes such a long time. “ G.K. Chesterton

“Is your Crown Cool?”

A preschool boy was making a  crown and said, “Wow, my crown is cool!” The preschool girl smiled and said, “My crown is cool too!” The boy looked and said, “No, yours is pretty!”  The girl quickly remarked, “No, my crown is cool, but look at my shoes. Now THOSE are pretty!”

"Cool Crown"

“Cool Crown”

English is a language that has pronouns that are used for genders. We use “he” and “she” and “his” and “hers”. Sometimes it is hard for children to get all of that straight as they talk. It is common for a preschooler to say, “Her isn’t sharing!!” When children learn Spanish, they must learn that nouns have genders. The adjectives change when the noun changes. That too can be hard for children to learn in the beginning. “El “ and “La” are used in front of nouns and have no English equivalent. Places that end in the letter “a” are feminine, yet other letters make places masculine.

Grammar has so many rules, and they vary in languages and cultures. As a child is learning language rules, he or she must also learn the culture. In my preschool world, girls often wear pink and purple with flowers and princesses. Boys often wear blue and red shirts with trucks and sports equipment on them. They start very early to use adjectives that are culturally gender specific. Girls and boys start quite young to fit into their groups. Words like “pretty” and “cute” get put into different categories than “radical” and “sharp”.

However, what would life be like if we could all wear the same crown and fit into the same group? What if everyone could be “cool” and not worry about what boys like and what girls like? We spend a lot of time worrying about how we look and how we can fit in. This starts at a preschool age and continues throughout our lives to certain degrees.

What we would all benefit from is letting our crown be worn on our inside instead of our outside. If we let our inner beauty shine for the world to see instead of getting caught up in the outside jewelry we put on, we could all stand strong, get along better and be at peace.

  • What is really “cool” in your life?
  • How would your life be different if you did not worry at all about what type of crown people saw you wear?
  • Would your life be any different if you had “pretty shoes?”

“My crown is in my heart, not in my head, nor decked with diamonds and Indian stones, nor to be seen; my crown is called contentment; A crown it is, that seldom kings enjoy.”  William Shakespeare

The Power of a Preschooler can change your life…..if you let it.

“Where are the arms and legs?”

 

At Preschool we made pictures of ourselves doing things that can help the world. One child noticed a figure had no limbs and asked, “Where are the arms and legs?”  The preschooler said, “I only made what was important. You don’t need arms or legs to help. You only need a heart.”

Where are the arms and legs?

Where are the arms and legs?

While I write this, there are reports of people in Boston, MA with missing limbs from a terrible attack. I am hoping they can see what my preschool friend sees. Limbs are not needed to live a full and meaningful life. My parents were married by a minister who had no arms. He had beautiful handwriting that he accomplished with his foot. He drove a car with one foot on the wheel and one foot on the pedals. My mother remembers walking with him  in the old church hallway, and he noticed a nail was sticking out. Instead of writing up a request for building and grounds to fix that, he got his hammer, swung it over his head and pounded in the nail. It was not a big deal. It was a man seeing what needed to be done and doing it. It was not a man seeing what he could not do and fretting.

He was asked once if there was anything he could not do without arms. He said one day his wife left him at home with his young son in the play pen, and the son started to cry. He could not physically lift him out of that play pen so he climbed in and played with him in there. A person with solutions instead of problems is a powerful person.

 The people in Boston have some grieving to do. They have had their life changed by no choice of their own. However, the survivors now will have the choice to make their life what they want it to be. It does not have to be a life of limitations. It can be a life of fulfillment, of fixing and not fretting.

Friends of Bethany is an organization that helps in situations with amputees and shark accidents.  They will be in Boston this week giving hope and Encouragement Packages. Bethany Hamilton lost her arm in a shark attack and was portrayed in the movie “Soul Surfer.” She was not expecting to lose a limb just like the Boston people were not expecting their attack. She also was not expecting the many good things that can come out of bad. Bethany has a heart, and she is not afraid to use it. Bethany is done fretting and is now in the world of fixing. (http://www.friendsofbethany.com) 

  • What in your life do you spend too much time fretting about?
  • When in your life have you led with your heart and not let limitations matter?
  • Will you take a moment today and rest on President Obama’s words from his April 18th, 2013 interfaith prayer service? “Our faith in each other, our love for each other, our love for country, our common creed that cuts across whatever superficial differences there may be, that is our power.”
  • How can you fix your heart to be large enough to forgive people who make poor choices?

“I could never have embraced this many people with two arms.”  Bethany Hamilton

The Power of Preschoolers will change your life…….if you let it.