What is it we see looking into a child’s eyes?

Bird Droppings March 17, 2022

What is it we see looking into a child’s eyes?

I woke up at my usual time from a dream, thinking I was back twenty or so years getting up and getting the kids all sent off to school, and it was pretty quiet around the house. After walking to the kitchen, it hit me; it was now. I talked to only my oldest son yesterday about his project, and he was sure he needed more for his AP class. Usually, I will talk to all my sons at least a couple of times a week on their cell phones, and it seems they always check in even while away on business or at school. Again, I got thinking back many years ago to another morning, much like many others that have passed. I was sitting and thinking about what is wandering by as I write, people, places, and things.

On a morning several years ago, a friend’s daughter passed away after a battle with cancer. I had read various emails and such about where to send flowers and notes. I went all day from 3:00 AM till nearly 10:00 that night and was exhausted. I lay down and was nearly asleep when my wife called me and said my youngest son wanted to talk to me. I fell asleep. Sitting here this morning in the quiet and dark of early days, I am sorry I didn’t take that moment to listen to my son; it may have been important. It was a homework assignment he needed help with but could have been a more serious issue in his life. Our moments with our children and grandchildren are far too few and much too precious to waste, to let pass by or slip away.

“The joys of parents are secret, and so are their grieves and fears.” Frances Bacon

“Is the parent better than the child into whom he has cast his ripened being? Whence, then, this worship of the past?” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Perhaps it is only a passing thought, yet it is as heavy as I am thinking of where, when, and why each event has transpired in our lives and with our children. Is it dropping off at school for that first day in kindergarten or graduating from high school and dropping off at college the first day as a dear friend recently went through? It could be receiving an email from college that they are bored and an attachment of a Georgia Tech mascot drawn in PowerPoint.  

“How many hopes and fears, how many ardent wishes and anxious apprehensions are twisted together in the threads that connect the parent with the child!” Samuel G. Goodrich

“Life affords no greater responsibility, no greater privilege, than the raising of the next generation.” C. Everett Koop

In 1984 or so, I was at the Georgia State Lamb show and taking photos of children showing their lambs. An angry mother stopped me as I was about to take a picture of a tiny little girl showing a lamb nearly twice her size. I eventually got the picture and gave a copy to the mother; we have been good friends ever since, and that picture is still hanging in her office. That tiny little girl is now teaching in South Georgia.

“Parents are often so busy with the physical rearing of children that they miss the glory of parenthood, just as the grandeur of the trees is lost when raking leaves.” Marcelene Cox

“Don’t throw away your friendship with your teenager over behavior that has no great moral significance. There will be plenty of real issues that require you to stand like a rock. Save your big guns for those crucial confrontations.” Dr. James C. Dobson

I can remember my wife and me sitting by the phone waiting to hear a word from our youngest son away at college for two days. More than likely, we would end up calling him and checking in. Keeping in touch, knowing their children are safe, is what parents are for.

“Your children will see what you’re all about by what you live rather than what you say.” Wayne Dyer

“We must teach our children to dream with their eyes open.” Harry Edwards

When I would walk into class each day, I thought about the moments I got to spend with this group of kids and tried not to waste them. I try to open eyes and hearts to what is around them and each other. Some days are great, and eyes open and surprise me, and others, it is like hitting your head against a brick wall.

“Grown men can learn from very little children for the hearts of little children are pure. Therefore, the Great Spirit may show to them many things which older people miss.” Black Elk

“Each child is an adventure into a better life –an opportunity to change the old pattern and make it new.” Hubert H. Humphrey

“The more people have studied different methods of bringing up children, the more they have come to the conclusion that what good mother and fathers instinctively feel like doing for their babies is the best after all.” Dr. Benjamin Spock

We need to take that moment and sit and listen; it will never come again in the same way with the same feeling and events to drive it. Not too long ago, I was asked why you are taking so many pictures, and I responded if I didn’t take that particular picture, I wonder who would, and that moment, a special moment would be lost. My dear friends, keep all in harm’s way on your mind and your hearts, and all who have suffered a loss may they be filled and always give thanks namaste.

My family and friends, I do not say this lightly,

Mitakuye Oyasin

(We are all related)


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