Children at Christmas
My sister said that it's important to be around children at Christmas. So this year, I made a point of visiting and inviting friends with children to celebrate this season of love, music, and joy.
Most of the time I never see children. Sometimes, in my rush to get from A to B, I almost trip over the little toddlers in my path.
Something about a child brings an instant smile to my face. Is it the memory of my own childhood or their fresh innocence? When I interact with them, I transition into a different state altogether.
My friend, who teaches children of all ages, is used to this. I, on the other hand, deal with adults in my daily work, most of the time on the phone or by e-mail. Communicating with children requires active facial expression and body language in 3-D space.
They have so much energy. It's exhausting to watch. But give them crayons and paper to draw and they fall into a trance. Play piano for them and they react to the music.
It's a lot of work, my friends tell me. You have to feed them, bathe them, clean them, and clothe them. Your life is suspended until they are old enough to take care of themselves. If that's the case, I ask, isn't it better to enjoy other people's children rather than to slave after your own?
But what they don't tell me is - when they are old and grey, their kids will take care of them. At least, that's what my parents' generation expects. But our generation sees it differently. It's glamourous to have children (just flip through any Hello! magazine). It is especially nice to hold other people's children who are on their best behaviour at Christmas.
29 December 2001 Saturday