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.