Sultana's Dream

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Sultana's Dream
May 2013


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'Sorry Gianni'

Working in childcare has given me the opportunity to see the wonderful world of the child. Servicing the needs of children aged six months to four years has given me insight into the purity of a child’s heart. 

On one occasion I was working alongside two four-year old boys to create a check board. We started ruling the lines, and I noticed that both boys kept their lines very straight and avoided colouring outside the lines. One young boy, Gianni, kept checking to see if he was doing the right thing. 'Am I good enough? Am I good enough?' he kept repeating. Then suddenly, he noticed that he’d coloured outside the line.  'Oh, I’m sorry', he said.

'No need to say sorry to me, it’s your project,' I answered.

'Who do we say sorry to then?' he asked me.

'Maybe to yourself,' I responded.

For a moment he stopped what he was doing and seemed to be reflecting about what I’d just said.

‘Sorry Gianni,’ he said aloud to himself.

That moment reminded me of the struggle that children face, on a daily basis, against their own natural impulses, their need for adult approval and their own self worth.

Gianni and the other children have taught me many lessons about human vulnerability, the need to be close to our mothers, the need for hugs and affection, the need to play, the need for safety and protection and—the need to say ‘sorry’, not to others, but to ourselves.

Thank you children. Although you eat all the fruit and sandwiches at morning tea and lunchtime and leave none for me, I’m grateful for the lessons you have taught me.

Lisa Tribuzio