A Lesson In Love & Fear From A 3 Year Old

Posted by Rahul Brown on May 4, 2016
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Last week my daughter’s pre-school had a ‘Career Day’ where they would be asking the little ones what they wanted to do when they got older. My daughter’s answer couldn’t have made me more proud-- but not for the usual reason that parents usually get happy about life choices :-)

Just the idea of asking little kids what they want to do when they grow up seemed more than a little ridiculous to me. Why should they be in any hurry to grow up? What’s wrong with enjoying childhood by just being a child, totally innocent to the ways of the so-called adults? Yet school asked us to dress up our kid like the occupation she liked for Career Day.

We decided to prepare by exploring the concept Uma held for her parents work. When Asha asked her if she knew what Mama’s job was, she said, “You go to the office.” And Papa, “Goes to Menlo Park.” Pretty good. We gave simple sentence about each of our work, and then asked her what she wanted to do or be when she grew up. With a beaming smile and unbounded enthusiasm, she said, “A spider!” Asha and I both laughed about that later, and decided to send Uma to school dressed normally like a 3 year old girl.

Then Career Day comes around, and passes. Next week the posterboard below goes up in the classroom.

We find Uma's picture with a surprising discovery and a not-so-confident look on her face.

On the way home that day, Asha asks, “Uma, do you really want to be an artist?” Very quietly, Uma says, “I want to be a spider.” This time Asha can’t hold it back and starts laughing out loud. Uma has a bit of an entertainer in her because if she discovers that something she said or did makes you laugh, she does or says it again to keep you laughing. But this time she’s silent.

A few moments later, she very quietly explains, “Mama, I want to be a spider. Because I’m scared of spiders but I love them.”

I couldn’t be more proud that this little girl’s instinct is to first love everything, and then seek to embody the experience of the beings she fears with that heart of love-- til all that’s left is love. What a profound lesson, yet one that is so apparent through the eyes of a child!

May I hold the loving heart of a child when encountering that which I fear or do not understand!

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Comments (5)

  • Sima Sanghvi wrote ...

    What a sweet answer from dear Umami! :)

  • Sachi Maniar wrote ...

    aaahhh ! i want to give a big hug to ummmaaa now ! proud daddy proud masi ;)

  • Yoo-Mi Lee wrote ...

    Awww - love that child!

  • Xiaojuan Shu wrote ...

    Wow! "I am scared... but I love..." Thanks for such wisdom from a little girl!

  • Preeta Bansal wrote ...

    beautiful wise girl with beautiful wise parents!