Are you too old to do that?

I asked a preschooler, “Are you too old to do that?” He said, “I am not two year’s old. I am four. I am just right to do anything I want to do.”

FOUR

Four can do more!

This is a time of year when my preschool is busy performing assessments and developmental screenings so that we can make more accurate goals for the children. Developmental delays, learning disorders, and behavioral and social-emotional problems are estimated to affect 1 in every 6 children. Early intervention is an important part of helping young children develop to their fullest potential.

We love seeing children confident in trying new things and not getting discouraged when they need extra support to accomplish new goals. Even if a child is one of the six who needs extra help, it does not mean they cannot keep trying and feeling like they are just right to try anything. The world could be a different place if children would not let go of their early confidence and determination.

As adults it is easy to say, “I am too young to do that type of work. You need a lot of experience, and I am not ready.” Then one day as you get older, you find yourself saying, “I am too old to learn that new concept. That is meant for younger people. I just can’t do that.” Words of defeat and discouragement often come easier to the mouthes of adults than words like, “I am just right to do anything I want to do.” Maybe it is time stop ourselves in our tracks and say, “I am not too young. I am not too old. I am just right.” Maybe that is the intervention we need to reach our fullest potential, and it doesn’t matter if the intervention comes early or late as long as it comes.

  • What are things you feel you are too young or too old to do?
  • How could you change your thinking about your limitations to have a different outcome?
  • How could we get help if we cannot do what we want by ourselves?

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” C.S. Lewis

“Miss Sheila, come be four with me today. I think you will really like it.” (To not play favoritism, the name of the preschooler will remain anonymous, yet forever live in Miss Sheila’s heart.)

“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.