Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Let Them Be Little

After school is an interesting time at my house. Most days I have piano students and/or voice students here and on top of that we've become the hang out hub. Some days I'm annoyed, but most days I enjoy having everyone around so I can keep track of them. Needless to say it can be a zoo. Yesterday there was a knock at the door and a little girl came in litterally sobbing. The chaos came to a hault as I asked this sweet little girl what the matter was.

Through endless tears this seven year old girl explained that her life was "falling apart" because her mom was losing her apartment because she didn't have money to pay the rent and her grandparents couldn't afford to help her and selling the car wasn't an option because then she couldn't get to work. She followed by telling me detailed information about her father and the divorce he and her mom were going through and the problems her mom was having with the lawyer and when I realized my jaw was on the floor I stopped her.

We talked for a few minutes and I reminded her that she was seven and that seven year old girls aren't supposed to worry about these things. It was her job to worry about homework and piano lessons, brushed teeth and clean underwear. She eventually calmed down, almost slightly convinced that she needed to let adults worry about adult things and eventually went outside with Aren for a "club meeting" and for her the world was right again if only for a moment.

For me though, the world just got a little more upsetting. Why do parents feel the need to turn their children into their friends and tell them all the details about their adult lives? Why do parents allow their children to sit beside them and watch shows that are obviously not appropriate for them? When did playing with Barbie dolls become something that eight year old girls have outgrown?

Just let them be little.

7 comments:

The Wilkins Family said...

Amen. I wonder, though, if the little girl overheard her mother talking to someone else. Maybe you should consider talking to the mom? How heartbreaking.

MaryBeth said...

I wish Denise. This isn't the first time she's told me what's happening. This was the first time that she was so traumatized by everything though :(

kellyclay said...

That is so sad MaryBeth, the poor little girl!!!

Elizabeth said...

This is so true. When I was young I was oblivious to all the crap that was happening to my parents. I didn't find out that our house had been broken into while we were sleeping until I was 17 or so and my mom let it slip. I did promise my kids that I would always be honest with them and not lie but I also promised them that I would not answer all their questions when the subject matter was something that they didn't need to worry about and that I would not always tell them everything because there are some things that they are just not capable of understanding right now.
I was a little dismayed this past Sunday, after Samuel was baptized the day before, that he was fasting for his dad to get a better job so we don't lose our house. We are not going to lose our house but I did joke with my husband about it now that our finances are a little tighter. It broke my heart that he was worrying about such things. It was a lesson to me that I need to be more aware of what I say and who is listening when I say it. I hope that little girl's situation works out.

Higleys said...

Can you befriend the mom? Maybe she can talk to you instead of her daughter.

*~Petra~* said...

Aw that is so sad. There have been a lot of times we have had to be super careful what we talk about around the kids. Two Christmas' ago I cried on Mike's shoulder for hours trying to figure out how we could do Christmas for our kids on the non-existant budget we had. We sacrificed, saved money and made it work. My kids never had any idea we were struggling at various times during his schooling. I know there are some good life lessons for kids to learn from struggles we go through, but I think you have to be selective. They definitely don't need to worry about such grown up things at such a young age. :(

Karen said...

I couldn't agree more. You should hear some of the things they come to school talking about...