A large truck was caught under a highway over pass. There were no injuries but emergency vehicles were on the scene. Everyone was trying to figure out how to get the truck unstuck. Traffic was creeping by along side the incident. A child called out from a passing car: Let the air out of the tires!
All the grown ups were at a loss for what to do and a kid figured out a solution.
In the Amish community elders are honored and listened to for their wisdom. In the English world we do much the same. We don’t look to children for advice or solutions in life. Children are the ones we teach, nurture and protect. But maybe that’s not always the best way to operate. Sometimes kiddos have great ideas and the best advice. “From the mouths of babes,” as the old saying goes. I recently had an experience that brought home this idea.
As I have mentioned on this blog I am moving cross-country. We are picking up roots in California, where we have lived for nearly twenty years and are going to New York City. The busyness of the moving has kept some of my worries at bay. But while my son was home from college to clean out his room for the last time we talked about the move and all it was going to mean.
“What you looking forward to?” Zach asked me.
“Well the adventure of it all is exciting. But . . . I am nervous about living in New York. I don’t know how to use the subway system or hail a cab. I worry I’ll get lost.”
“Well remember when we went on vacation in Tokyo? We figured that subway system and it wasn’t even in English. This time you’ll be able to ask questions.”
I smiled. “Yup it will all be in English.” Zach could tell I was still nervous about our move.
“What else bugs you?”
“I am worried about being lonely and making new friends.”
“Well. What about when you and dad moved to Australia. Remember that? What did you do the first thing while you were there?”
I thought about it. What gave me comfort when I was half way around the world? “I went to the library and got a library card. I checked out books by Aussie authors.”
“The New York City Library is a great place to hang out. You can start there.”
I hadn’t thought about it before but I have done this starting over thing a lot. I just haven’t done it recently. Zach had gone off to college three years ago. I had sent him off with some of the same advice. “You can do this! It’s going to be great.” Now he helped point out that I can do it. I have done it before. I found wise counsel in an unlikely place—from my younger.
The best advice you might get from a five year old is: Let’s have ice cream! Silly but, there is some truth to listening to the younger people in your life. Have you found counsel from someone younger than you?