They are not blank slates

I went to eat lunch in the elementary cafeteria and the 8-year-olds told me where to sit. “There’s always an empty seat next to the end, cause that girl doesn’t sit beside the rest of us.” The horde of girls chattered away with a predictability that made me wonder if they have the same conversations every day.

As the sing-song voices got sillier and louder, the girl on the end spoke for the first time. “How long has your coffee cup been empty and why are you still holding it?” It was the most perceptive thing I have heard in ages. We chatted while the rest of the table sang a Lady GaGa song.

She asked me if I am the kind of mom who works or stays at home. I told her I do both and we talked about websites and writing. “How do you know what to write about?” “I write about everything. I might write about you.” “That sounds boring.”

If I was wealthy, I would put a writing device in that child’s hands today and encourage her to journal her thoughts. The only thing worse than wasting such a natural curiosity and talent for observation, would be that little girl going through life thinking that she is boring.

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