Last week, my wonderful four-year-old daughter had minor surgery to have her adenoids removed. In the hospital she heard lots of encouraging words from Mommy and Daddy and from the doctors and nurses. The surgery went really well and she was a champion through it all.
The following morning, as I walked into the kitchen she looked up at me with a big smile and said, “Daddy, I was really brave when I went to the hospital.”
“Yes, sweetheart,” I said, smiling back,“you were.”
“Daddy,” she continued, looking me straight in the eyes. “What does brave mean?”
What a sweetheart, and how wonderful it is to be a child where the world is full of questions to be asked.
In this moment she reminded me how often grown-ups will listen to the words we say and keep quiet if they don’t understand what we really mean.
It’s our job, not theirs, to fix this.