trifling with trivialities...
This morning Aly was sitting at the breakfast table and she proceeded to tell me that she felt left out at school when all the other kids at recess were chanting, “Trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat. If you don’t, I don’t care, I’ll pull down your underwear.” She said that she wanted to sing the song with them, but knew that she shouldn’t say the part about exposing someone’s “privates” by yanking down their underwear. I concurred.
We then talked about “being different”. They started talking about how everyone said naughty words and that sometimes they felt like saying them and how everyone was going to “High School Musical 3” and how everybody was goo-goo-gaa-gaa over Hannah Montana, etc…these are the modern day applications of temptation to them.
For the record, I don’t think the Treat or Treat song or the word “stupid” or the viewing of HSM 3 will forever ruin my children. But I do feel that at their age, there are many things to be taken into consideration as their little spirits develop. Until they can understand sarcasm or the true meaning of certain words or the dynamics of kissing a member of the opposite sex passionately and its implications in the volatile years of High School, I feel they serve to strike a decisive blow to the innocence of their childlike hearts. Until there is more understanding and maturity…things that aren’t wrong in and of themselves can be destructive if they aren’t age-appropriately applied. I say this to my own rebuke.
I, all too often, underestimate what is at stake in my children’s lives at any given second. What appears to be a trivial moment or word or visualization, is so much more than that. It is shaping their ideology, their very reality. What they are supposed to look like. What they are supposed to act like. What they are supposed to talk like. What they are supposed to, ultimately, be like. And what they see is what they will be. What they hear is what they will say. What they will watch is what they will wear. What they witness is what they want.
I think we are too forgiving as a culture as it relates to what we think our kids can handle. We think they have the apparatus to sift through delicate situations they see in movies, and they don’t yet. We think they have the mechanics to delineate between fantasy and reality, and they don’t. We think they can look but not touch. Partake and not emulate. We think they can be exposed without it affecting and infecting their volatile and fragile little souls. From my vantage point, I think we’re full of crap to think so.
Or maybe it’s just trifling with nonsense to think that puny things like “underwear” and the word “dummy” and “kissing teenagers” make a whipstitch of difference in the development of their inner child. Maybe it’s making a mountain out of a molehill. Or maybe it’s why the younger generation is growing up too fast…so fast that their insides are forever trying to catch up to their outsides. They know about things before they’re developmentally ready to process them…and so they don’t process them…they just believe it and behave accordingly.
I have a lot of work to do. Protecting their little hearts is harder than I could have ever imagined. But their futures depend on it.