Living through a global pandemic has taught me to live in the moment, relinquish control of things I cannot control and truly appreciate the simple things in life. I thought these valuable lessons were my year's biggest revelations. I was wrong.
With eyes and ears wide open, heart in hand and privilege in check, I understand that I will never truly understand the pain of racism. As a parent, I've always thought about the importance of raising the next generation of kids with a sense of social conscience. However, today, it's clear that the stakes have never been higher, and the price to pay is unfathomable. We MUST do better.
I often use the art of storytelling to ignite thoughtful discussions with our kids. One of our favourite bedtime stories, What Do You Do With an Idea, written by Kobi Yamada & illustrated by Mae Besom, has sparked on-going conversations with my kids about our power to change the world. My 5 yr-old is convinced that a traveling Kindness Show will help change the world. Front row to the show, please!
"But then I realized, what do they really know? This is MY idea, I thought. No one knows it like I do. And it's okay if it's different, and weird, and maybe a little crazy.
I decided to protect it, to care for it. I fed it good food. I worked with it, I played with it. But most of all, I gave it my attention."
[- What Do You Do With an Idea?]
What if we give our "wee little" ideas all of our attention? What if we lead by example? What if empathy and kindness is a prerequisite for learning? What if tough conversations start young and remain on-going? What if we acknowledge our missteps and take action to do better? These "what if" questions have become my daily mantra as important conversations continue in our household.
Turns out raising little readers is much easier than raising little leaders. Our little leaders have the power to change the world. Together, let's answer this call.
Next week, my happy place: our bookshelf! Stay tuned for a celebration of diversity in picture books.
...and as always, happy reading!