Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Blissfully Unaware

There are so many reasons why I love my daughter whom I lovingly refer to as #1 but I think one of the main reasons is that as an almost 9 year old (her birthday is this month!) she is very naïve. 

We were chatting about her day after I picked her up from school last week .  She suddenly exclaimed, "Mom, someone did something very bad at school.  They wrote the "F" word on one of the walls."   I told her that was awful!  Then I asked her what the "F" word was.  She threw her hands up in the air and said, "That's just it, I don't even know!"

Certainly I had to contain my laughter but it wasn't too hard because I was beaming with pride.  How did I get so lucky?  Here is my public school attending third grader and she doesn't even know common swearing lingo - even the big daddy, like the "F" word has escaped her grasp.  This is amazing and great.  Amazing that she retains her childhood even in this technological over load of a world we live in.  Great that she didn't know and didn't really care to seek it out.  It was a bad word and that is all she needed to know. End of story.  Man, I love that kid.

I was so proud, that I told this story at a scrapbooking night that I went to this past weekend and the ladies there were like, "Well, she doesn't ride the bus.  If she rode the bus, she'd know this stuff."  I thought about that and wondered, what in the heck goes on when riding the bus?  How is it any different than the before and after school program that she attends?  She is with a ton of kids, like on the bus.  She is integrated with all grade levels, like the bus.  They talk to each other and play with each other, just like those kids on the bus.  Is there some kind of phenomenon going on during a ride on the school bus that I don't know about? I seriously doubt it.  So, the bus excuse has been debunked as far as I'm concerned.  Maybe this is just one of her traits that makes her who she is.  That's ok, isn't it?

Though I love this trait of my daughters, sometimes I get worried.  She still thinks some TV shows and cartoons are real.  We talk about it a lot especially when she starts talking about them like they are apart of every day life.  I will say something like, "Aren't we lucky that we get to watch TV shows with talented actors that make it seem so real?"  I'm hoping to nonchalantly plant seeds that things on TV or the computer are not always what they seem to be.  Though being naïve at nine years old is something that I'm extremely proud of, sometimes it can be troublesome, mostly because I'm just not sure all of the time, how to handle it but for the most part this is a positive situation.  With that said, several questions run through my mind:  What are the appropriate ages for kids to learn about certain things?  You know what "things" I'm talking about.  Is it up to me to educate her or let her navigate for herself which potentially could contain the wrong information from unreliable sources?

I certainly do not want her going to high school thinking that Disney creates reality TV but I also want her to just be a kid.  I want her to retain her childlike wonder for a long time.  Is that so wrong?  I want her to have a "childhood" in all that the word means, as too many children don't get this luxury.  They have to grow up to fast and become aware of things that kids shouldn't know for years and years at an early age.  It's a double edged sword and I know this.  So for now, I think I'm just going to go with it.  She certainly will not go to high school in her car booster seat (I hope) so why would I think she'll enter 9th grade being a completely 'out of it' teenager?  Even if she is slightly unaware, I say, score for me and my husband.  It will keep her out of trouble and hopefully she'll focus on what is important like getting good grades, excelling at her activities, having fun with her friends, and just being a kid.  Then I can actually go to bed at a reasonable hour since I won't be worrying about her when she is at a football game on a Friday night in those years.

There is nothing wrong with being blissfully unaware, especially for our children.  I'm going to ebb and flow with how things go over the next few years and hopefully we'll navigate the hurdles and celebrate the wins as they come.


Until next time,
J.K. Sasse

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