My husband and I are about to double down on grandbabies. Our two sons, who each have one son already, are both expecting new arrivals in late March. We already know one of the babies on the way is a boy, which is significant because I have six nephews and one niece, two sons, and two grandsons. Hmmm, a pattern is beginning to emerge. We are terrified that the fourth grandbaby will be a girl. None of us will know what to do with a little girl.
So, it’s no surprise that children have been on my mind recently. Young children truly believe they can do anything and that anything is possible. My five year old grandson saw a couple playing tennis at a park near my home and said to me “I’m going to go ask if I can play tennis with them.” When I explained that one has to learn and practice to be able to play tennis the way this couple did, he confidently replied that he was “sure” he could do it. He was so sure of it that I was hard pressed to dissuade him from asking them if he could join in. When he received roller skates last Christmas, he was confident that he would put them on and skate off down the sidewalk. Likewise, my younger grandson saw children break-dancing on TV and has been dazzling us with his stunning lack of break-dancing ability ever since.
Just as amazing, they easily believe the things they are told. My daughter-in-law explained to the 2 ½ year old that she had a baby in her tummy, that it would grow until it was big enough, and then out would come his new baby brother! Max accepted this information without question and further assumed that everyone must have a baby in his or her tummy. He enjoys walking up to random people to say hello to the baby in their tummy, much to their surprise.
Years ago I read about a study done in which two groups of students were given a test that was beyond their respective abilities to complete. The first was a group of Kindergarten students. When asked why they were unable to complete the test, they universally responded with “The test was too hard”. When high school students were given a test that was far beyond their abilities, they had a variety of explanations as to why they were unable to successfully complete it. Reasons such as “I didn’t try hard enough” and “I’m not smart enough” were given. The Kindergarten students easily accepted that the test was too hard and didn’t seem to give it much more thought.
Something about the attitudes of a young child must be very important because the Lord says that unless we can be like a little child we cannot reach the kingdom. I’m highly analytic, which leads to what some people referred to as “analysis paralysis”, meaning I get so wrapped up in looking at an issue or problem from every conceivable angle that I lose track of what it is I’m even trying to accomplish. The more muddled I become, the more I feel compelled to analyze. Kids don’t analyze; they just go with it. They are told and they believe. They can discern when something is beyond them—and they’re just fine with it. How can a control-freak like me ever hope to be like that? Fortunately, I know that with God all things are possible. If not for that, I would be lost.