The person inside

Sunday, April 21, 2013 Permalink

Since moving I’ve become friends with another new arrival and her very delightful 19 mth old son. Over the past five or so months I’ve spent a lot of time with them both. I enjoy their company and suspect my adoration of Pickle is obvious.

I love how his face lights up every time he sees me and how excited he is when we meet. He greets me without any judgement or concern. Just joy.

People often talk about the unconditional love children have for their parents. Obviously I’ve never experienced this from the angle of a parent, but guess I’ve been privy to something similar.

IMG_0354Often when I arrive to see Pickle I have scary hair. I’m in an old t-shirt and baggy ugly pants and feel porky and blah! But, to Pickle I am (very briefly) like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny rolled into one. He doesn’t look at me and think, “God you look fat in those pants!” (Well… I’m assuming he doesn’t!)

It occurs to me that he sees the person inside, not the one on the outside.

My niece, Miss Em, was very much the same. I used to think that kids must be able to sense when someone loves them wholeheartedly and there’s some innate understanding that the person can be trusted with their hearts and souls.

Some time ago I wrote about Miss Em, when she was 2 or 3 years old, telling me how much she loved my fat tummy. She meant nothing by it. The ‘F’ word didn’t figure into it at all. She didn’t care that I was overweight or that I sometimes felt and looked frumpy. She just saw ‘me’. Without judgement.

While writing this I’ve been pondering exactly how or when kids (or people in general) change. I’m reminded of my Full of Awesome post and a world of infallible four year olds.

When do children stop believing they can do and achieve anything and thinking the best of others?

Before you know it your kids are wanting you to park around the corner rather than be seen at school with your daggy clothes or fat tummy; or they’re stressing about exams and their own looks.

Getting to spend time with Pickle is a wonderful reminder that… for a while anyway, we get to view the world through the unaffected and the untouched. We get to see life through the eyes and minds of those not tainted by society and culture and negativity in general. And that’s refreshing.

Have you had the opportunity to share the world through the eyes of a child?


  • Vanessa @
    April 21, 2013

    Great post Deb. I think about this all the time. When kids are little they have no understanding of judgement. They have a clean slate where everything is meaningless but everything is feeling. If you know what I mean. There’s no strings attached. They take everything in the literal sense.

    I worry I carry on about my weight too much in front of Ned because I’m telling him that to be fat is to be bad, which I do feel but I don’t want to impart that onto him. As parents, or even close adult friends of children, it is really important to be mindful of how we speak and behave around them. They are sponges and it doesn’t take long for them to learn how to judge.

    One thing I’m really careful of is telling Ned to behave or look a certain way otherwise other people won’t like him. I don’t want to him to be an approval seeker like I am. I want him to behave nicely out of respect for himself. Of course I want him to have respect for others but I want self acceptance to be his first priority.

    Anyway, that’s enough of an essay from me. Really great post, love.


    • Debbish
      April 22, 2013

      Thanks Vanessa. I haven’t had as much time around kids, but I remember being similarly worried about my niece and the concept of ‘dieting’. They are such little sponges. When she was 5 or 6 I’d been doing Weight Watchers. My mum was visiting and we were all together and I’d been talking about my diet and Weight Watcher points etc, when suddenly this little voice pipes up, “How many points in this biscuit?” my thin tiny niece asked.

      I was horrified!


  • Katy Potaty
    April 21, 2013

    This was really great, Deb. I’ve just forwarded to a few friends, I think it’s got a lot of relevance for a bunch of people.

    Also, Pickle is freaking adorable.

    • Debbish
      April 22, 2013

      Thanks Katy, and yes he is!

  • Jess
    April 21, 2013

    I love kids! They are so optimistic, creative and loving. I don’t know when they *change* I wish adults would take on board even an ounce of their open minded world view. One of my two year olds asked me what death was today and if everyone died. Kind of crazy question for one so young. Not sure how much she took in. After our conversation she ripped off her clothes, started singing and dancing with her toy monkey. Only she could go from death talk to naked dancing in 2 seconds and be so carefree.
    PS I have no idea where she heard about death, not obviously a frequent topic I discuss with them! Or anything they watch.

    • Debbish
      April 22, 2013

      Oh Jess… how cute! (The death and dancing concept!) If only we could ‘accept’ something with the same kind of understanding before moving onto what’s next. It’s like the ultimate form of ‘living in the moment’.

  • @Kanga_Rue
    April 22, 2013

    For the record, *I* don’t think that when I see you!

    But yes, Pickle loves to see you, you are one of his favourite people; he senses that you like him and that is all that matters.

    We are both blessed to have met you.


    • Debbish
      April 22, 2013

      Thanks. xx

  • Char
    April 22, 2013

    I can’t remember when my kids started realising that they were fallible but I’m sure it was earlier than most seeing as they have a stress-head for a mother. But I can remember when they were little and thought that everything that they did was amazing – somersaults, crossing their eyes, bomb-diving into the pool were all things that needed acknowledgement for their awesomeness.

    • Debbish
      April 22, 2013

      Hee hee. The other thing about kids is that the littlest things excite them. They are so easily thrilled.

      We grown ups (and older kids) are so cynical and our expectations so high we make rods for our own backs!

  • Tiffany
    April 23, 2013

    I know that I should do it more often, no doubt my life would be more “fun”. The kids where only just asking on the weekend when we can go to visit “Aunty Deb” again!!

    • Debbish
      April 25, 2013

      I’ll probably be in Brisbane sometime soon. Should make more of an effort to get there, though it’s interesting that I haven’t missed (the place) at all!

  • Bonnie James
    April 24, 2013

    I always enjoy the young ones because they don’t see the outside, only the inside of a person. They just know you are who they enjoy being with.

    • Debbish
      April 25, 2013

      It feels like such an honest relationship as well. Strange, isn’t it?!

  • Rebecca King
    April 24, 2013

    How true everything you said is! You are right about them wanting out a block away from school. lol

    • Debbish
      April 25, 2013

      Oh yes… Sadly I recall a conversation with my mum when I was a teenager about the fact that she didn’t wear jeans and another friend’s mother did and she was ‘way cooler’ etc. Of course my relationship with my mother was undoubtedly way stronger than that of my friend’s. And bizarrely she wears jeans etc all of the time now!

  • Jo Tracey
    April 25, 2013

    Judgement or rather non judgement is the hardest thing you can teach a child. It goes hand in hand with respect & kindness. I remember about 5 years ago we were in KL & visited a muslim school. Sares would have been 10 & had to wear the full veil and (is it?) habib. Other kids might have giggled or complained or been embarrassed. She accepted it with grace and behaved accordingly. I’m not sure that I’ve been prouder.

    • Debbish
      April 25, 2013

      Oh I can imagine – it sounds like you’ve done a great job. As I don’t have kids I can’t imagine what it’s like trying to raise someone you want to be proud of (not for their achievements, but for who they are / become).

  • KCLAnderson (Karen)
    April 26, 2013

    This is such a lovely post…and yes, I have had the opportunity to view life through the eyes of my grandson, which in an of itself is a miracle. As a stepmom, I never take anything for granted. So the fact that I was present when was born and have been part of his life at least once a week for the past two years had been an incredible gift! I am his Booboo. He trusts me fully and completely.

    I’ll close with this quote from Martha Beck 🙂

    You are lovable. Can you show me any baby in any nursery who isn’t priceless? No. There’s no such thing as a worthless newborn. And the essential value that was born into brand-new-baby you can never be extinguished. This means that even if you think you’re being absolutely honest, believing yourself to be anything other than astonishing, incomparable, and infinitely precious makes you a habitual liar. ~ Martha Beck

    • Debbish
      April 27, 2013

      I saw something like this on your Facebook page Karen – a reminder that we are all born loveable. So true.

      I’ve always adored kids… I wonder if it’s because of their unconditional love?!

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