26 Feb
Posted in: parenting
By    1 Comment

On Being a Person

Young girl hiking a trail at Red Rocks near Denver, Colorado

Most of my daily conversations are held with our 5-year-old daughter. It’s not really conversing. It’s more her talking and me listening. Children can be both silly and insightful in their observations. We were reading from a book while we waited for our oldest son’s school day to finish up. After certain passages there were discussion questions.

The question was: “What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do?

I assumed her answer would have something to do with sharing her toys, or obeying me, or fully-submerging her head during swim lessons. I’m not sure why I waste time assuming anything. I should know better.

Case in point, her answer was: “Being a person.”

I stared at her before prodding her further.

Me: “Why is being a person hard?

Her: “My feelings get in the way. Other people want different things than me. People get sick and hurt. A person is a hard thing to be sometimes.

Out of the mouth of a babe. Five years is, apparently, long enough to know this ‘person thing’ is tricky. Being a person, a decent one, is hard. Life is messy and complicated. Dealing with other people can be maddening and overwhelmingly gratifying. Best laid plans are seldom without changes. My own emotions fluctuate like Wyoming weather.

Life is heavy at times. Even in those heavy moments, if I pay attention, there is goodness. Being a person is hard, but also rewarding. There are days this person business is just too much, and I’m not sure why I bother to crawl out of bed. Then there are glorious moments that make all the disagreeable person nonsense pale in comparison.

Yes, daughter of mine, being a person is hard, but can also be the answer to: “What’s the best thing you’ve ever had to do?”


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1 Comment

  • I LOVE her!