Yesterday morning as I walked up the stairs with my preschool students to their chapel time this is what I heard:
Student 1: Miss Amy, I love you!
Student 2: Miss Amy, I love you, too!
Student 3: I love you, too!!
My heart swelled, and at that moment I wanted to be three again.
It’s funny, because of all of the ages my boys have been so far, three was definitely the hardest. I felt the terrible twos were misnamed. It was the age of three that nearly threw me over the edge as far as my parenting skills were concerned.
However, as I have spent a couple of days a week for the last several weeks with 14 of them in the same room, I’ve gained insights I didn’t stop to notice with just one at a time at home.
Here are some reasons I think three would be a great age to be:
1) I wish my worst problem could be losing my hair bow on the playground, not being able to find my show-and-tell item, or misplacing my sparkly pink bracelet. All of these have happened in my room, and are devastating for a three-year-old, but these little ones have no idea what life has in store for them later. Ignorance is bliss.
2) I’m glad I have a brain with the ability to reason, but there is such freedom in just going along with being told what to do, too. Three-year-olds experience the herd effect. They see a group of kids lining up, and it may not even be their teacher at the head of the line, but they get in line, too. We’re constantly counting and re-counting to be sure the kids we have are ours after recess. Some days it would be nice to just “do,” and not have to think about it, don’t you think?
3) How nice would it be to not give a rip what others think about you? Shoot, a lot of the kids are still not aware of the other kids around them and don’t even know their names. Life would be easier not worrying about people pleasing.
4) At three, who cares about modesty? One day one of the little girls came hopping out of the bathroom with her pants around her ankles hollering for help because she couldn’t reach the toilet paper. I think I could get used to not being concerned about my body and who saw it. But I promise I will keep my business in the bathroom, thank you very much.
5) I could get used to other people doing everything for me. From fixing my hair to tying my shoes, there is an element that sounds a bit appealing. I think I would prefer to dislike what was put in front of me for dinner over having to cook it myself.
6) Wrapping back around to my students’ gushes of affection, I would covet being able to love with the abandon of a preschooler. Oh, to so easily tell others how much I care and to feel it so intensely and easily!
If you currently have a preschooler at home, I know not all moments are roses and cherries. I also know some moments are sheer agony. The fights over the clothes to wear, food to eat, and the lack of ability to share can be exhausting. However, there is some deep beauty in these little munchkins that we often fail to see when we are in the thick of it.
Cherish the sweet vulnerability of little ones. Don’t worry so much about pleasing those around you. Consider it a sacred pleasure if you are needed by another human being today. Above all, love fiercely.
Photo from freeimages.com.