Recently, I have been thinking about children a lot. I am single and I hope to get married and have two boys and a girl. My baby girl will be my pension baby. I say this all the time; but recently, my thoughts about kids and the unborn have become deliberate. Out of nowhere, my friend, Kunle-Laguda, sent me a TedTalk link about how education kills creativity in children. And this piqued my desire to write a letter to the kids.
I am writing to you, the innocent ones; though I doubt you need it because you have so much access to knowledge now. I am amazed at the amount of kids who know how to surf the Internet more than many grown-ups.
Many times, your innocence and flexibility get the best of me. For example, how you play hide-and-seek both literally and emotionally—like when it is time to do your homework and when you are trying to keep from telling the truth. Or how you sleep so comfortably on your mum’s back even when your neck is turned down and your nose immobilized. Grownups can never get comfortable in that position. Or how you transform the voices of screaming adults into pleasant music; my 3 year old baby cousin will make me scream down the house in my futile search for him and just show up behind me, grinning at me. I am weak. I cannot spank him. I am just amused.
There are few things you should pay attention to in your walk through the universe, although you learn them in your early stages, they are life applicable lessons. So listen:
Deciding Between Options
A lot of your options will be quite confusing. When at school, you are made to choose between 3 options, eliminate the one that calls at you first. It is most likely the wrong one. You analyze the other two options; one of them may be the right answer. This strategy will help you decide who to be friends with later in life. Do not go for (a) the popular one with flashy things that everyone wants to be around. Go for either the 2nd or 3rd, (b) the girl with the imaginary friend or (c) the boy who stalls and calculates before making a sentence. These are people looking for a friend. They have been preparing on how to best behave like one.
You do Not Love Ice Cream
Let no adult deceive you. It is rich and creamy and sweet but that is all it is. It is there to satisfy your cravings and make you stay put when an adult needs you to but it is not your go-to friend. You cannot call it to help you with your homework or ask it why the sky is blue. You can only delight in it but not find solace in it. Once you understand that love is an exchange between two things that are capable of the emotion—you and Somto, you and your parents. Then you can scale part of the hurdle of heartbreak.
By All Means, Fall but Do not Crash
I cannot count the number of times my baby cousin has fallen. Once, I begged him not to climb the dining table. Did he listen to me? No. He fell but did not break a tooth or a leg. This is good news. But the truth is; the world is full of dirt, sharp edges and rocky paths—very soon, you will be running in 3-inch heels trying to catch a bus at Ojuelegba and you will slip. You have to learn to fall without crashing. In life, situations will send you slipping many times, you cannot afford to crash.
Put Up With People
On Sundays, your parents take you to their friends’. While they play catch up, they will force you to play with their friends’ children. You will be shy. One of the kids may ignore you and continue with his game. You will squat in a corner and hear your parents’ laughter from a distance. The point is, you may not like these children and they may not be your friends but you will find a way to get along for a few hours. Later in future, you will need to get along with people—at school, in the workplace or anywhere. There is no one you cannot play with for 8 hours.
Not Everyone Will Love You
It took me a long time to figure out that some people just enjoy being mean. It is a flaw in the universe. But sometimes, a few people just do not like you—kids, grown-ups and even teachers. Do not take this personally. The only problem is when you give away each piece of yourself just to make someone love you. This is quite exhausting and painful. Instead, give up on them. Go find the people that love you—like me.
Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Jose Manuel Gelpi Diaz