Though we’re taught to correlate wisdom with age, I often reflect back on my inherent childhood logic and wonder if I lost some of that wisdom along the way. Here are some of the unsucky things I believed as a kid:
The geese on the frozen lake would be much happier if I brought them tiny winter coats.
The streetlights don’t turn on by themselves. Someone is paid to hit 98,796 light switches the instant the sun goes down.
Most people die eventually, but I won’t and neither will my mom.
On Thanksgiving Eve, turkeys pray for falling stars, hoping no one will wish on their bones the next day.
Toll Booth workers have the best jobs in the whole world because they make a new friend every twenty seconds.
Right before I took a leap in the direction of trying to become a full-time poet, I spent five years teaching in a preschool. What a gift it was to spend my days seeing the world through the eyes of those who hadn’t yet been told how to see it. Four year old Rita, for example. My god, I adored her. She looked like a mushroom and talked the way I imagine a mushroom would talk. One St. Patrick's Day, while the kids were painting poster-sized four leaf clovers bright green, Rita walked up to me dragging her giant clover behind her and said, “Andrea, yeah um, I’m gonna need some help painting this broccoli.”
It’s almost impossible to have a sucky day after you’ve heard a gem like that fall out of a mushroom’s mouth. I spent the entirety of the next week thinking about Rita and her broccoli-eating Leprechauns (so committed they were to having enough phosphorus in their diets!)
I only recently learned leprechauns are the outcasts of the fairy community––grumpy, mischievous little guys whose job is to mend the shoes of their sparkle-winged counterparts. How is it possible that fairies need help mending their shoes? I would assume they could sprinkle fairy dust on their toes and mend them themselves, but my thoughts about such things can no longer be trusted. I’m full grown afterall, and now have a head full of conspiracy theories such as this: Both my mom and I could very well die someday. I can’t be sure, of course, but I’ve come to suspect there’s at least a 50/50 chance.
Children are closer to god than we are. And what I mean by god is––wonder. They have come so recently from the great great beyond, which is why they have so many questions. We are a culture that prides itself on having answers, but questions are the real wisdom, the real magic. During the times in my life I stopped asking questions, I swear I aged faster. What if, instead of Botox and chemical peels and anti-aging creams, the new prescription was this:
What does heaven look like at night?
When my dogs dream about me, what do they dream?
What’s the fastest route to an open heart and how can I get there in record time?
What do the angels say when god sneezes?
Will you join me in my question-asking-journey, friends? If you do, I’d love to read some of your questions in the comments. Thank you so much for being here.
Love, Andrea 🖤
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