Watching Our Water Ways

Environmental reporter Christopher Dunagan discusses the challenges of protecting Puget Sound and all things water-related.
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Amusing Monday: Kids offer priceless insights about life

November 10th, 2008 by cdunagan

This is for all of us who are grandparents and for those of us who have fond memories of grandparents. Farther down the page you’ll find some definitions of love, as described by children, which I think you will enjoy.

I pulled these from an e-mail I received, source unknown:

My grandson called the other day to wish me a Happy Birthday. He asked me how old I was, and I told him, “62.” He was quiet for a moment, and then he asked, “Did you start at 1?”

After putting her grandchildren to bed, a grandmother changed into old slacks and a droopy blouse and proceeded to wash her hair. As she heard the children getting more and more rambunctious, her patience grew thin. At last she threw a towel around her head and stormed into their room, putting them back to bed with stern warnings. As she left the room, she heard the three-year-old say with a trembling voice, “Who was THAT?”

A grandmother was telling her granddaughter what her own childhood was like: “We used to skate outside on a pond. I had a swing made from a tire; it hung from a tree in our front yard. We rode our pony. We picked wild raspberries in the woods.” The little girl was wide-eyed, taking this in. At last she said, “I sure wish I’d gotten to know you sooner!”

A little girl was diligently pounding away on her grandfather’s word processor. She told him she was writing a story. “What’s it about?” he asked. “I don’t know,” she replied. “I can’t read.”

I didn’t know if my granddaughter had learned her colors yet, so I decided to test her. I would point out something and ask what color it was. She would tell me, and always she was correct. But it was fun for me, so I continued. At last she headed for the door, saying sagely, “Grandma, I think you should try to figure out some of these yourself!”

Our five-year-old grandson couldn’t wait to tell his grandfather about the movie we had watched on television: “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.” The scenes with the submarine and the giant octopus had kept him wide-eyed. In the middle of the telling, my husband interrupted. “Mark, what caused the submarine to sink?” With a look of incredulity, Mark replied, “Grandpa, it was the 20,000 leaks!”

When my grandson Billy and I entered our vacation cabin, we kept the lights off until we were inside to keep from attracting pesky insects. Still, a few fireflies followed us in. Noticing them before I did, Billy whispered, “It’s no use, Grandpa. The mosquitoes are coming after us with flashlights.”

Attached to the e-mail were a couple of items that someone pulled from another source about kids and fire fighters.

“Give me a sentence about a public servant,” said a teacher.
The small boy wrote, “The fireman came down the ladder pregnant.”
The teacher took the lad aside to correct him.
“Don’t you know what pregnant means?” she asked.
“Sure,” said the young boy confidently. “It means carrying a child.”

A nursery school teacher was delivering a station wagon full of kids home one day when a fire truck zoomed past. Sitting in the front seat of the truck was a Dalmatian dog. The children started discussing the dog’s duties.
“They use him to keep crowds back,” said one child.
“No,” said another, “he’s just for good luck.”
A third child brought the argument to a close. “They use the dog,” she said firmly, “to find the fire hydrants.”

Finally, I received an e-mail on the subject of love, as described by children. There may be some lessons in here for all of us. I traced versions of this back to 2000, but I was unable to locate the original source.

“A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8 year olds, “What does love mean?” The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined. See what you think:”

“When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn’t bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That’s love.”
Rebecca – age 8

“When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.”
Billy – age 4

“Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.”
Karl – age 5

“Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs.”
Chrissy – age 6

“Love is what makes you smile when you’re tired.”
Terri – age 4

“Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK.”
Danny – age 7

“Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. My Mommy and Daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss.”
Emily – age 8

“Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.”
Bobby – age 7

“If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate,”
Nikka – age 6

“Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday.”
Noelle – age 7

“Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well.”
Tommy – age 6

“During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling. He was the only one doing that. I wasn’t scared anymore.”
Cindy – age 8

“My mommy loves me more than anybody. You don’t see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night.”
Clare – age 6

“Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken.”
Elaine – age 5

“Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford.”
Chris – age 7

“Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day.”
Mary Ann – age 4

“I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones.”
Lauren – age 4

“When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you.”
Karen – age 7

“Love is when Mommy sees Daddy on the toilet and she doesn’t think it’s gross.”
Mark – age 6

“You really shouldn’t say ‘I love you’ unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget.”
Jessica – age 8

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Food for thought

"In the end, we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught."Baba Dioum, Senegalese conservationist

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