How do kids understand change? Their oh-so-wise answers will surprise you.
Story by Sammi Johnson
Irecently lost my job. Got laid off. One day I was working, the next I wasn’t. Actually, by lunch that same day I was having a margarita at the Northern. Our location store suddenly closed, and we were out of work. I was very happy at this job, so it was a blow. That’s it, that’s all, see ya later. Or not actually later — see you never.
Change is good, but sudden change takes the wind out of you. And insert all the cliché sayings here, but I’m good and this move is ultimately for the best. It always is.
Yet, what does “change” do to you? Good, bad or otherwise? I thought I’d ask some of my most valued mentors. My kids and my friends’ kids. They are ever so wise.
What is the best thing that has ever happened to you?
“Going to Disneyland.”
“First, being born … but really it was “getting Tosh (a dog).”
“My birthday because you get presents and go places.”
What did you learn from this?
“I love going on rides with my family.”
“How to treat another being. And how to throw a chuck-it.”
What is the worst thing that has ever happened to you?
“I cut my hand on some rocks.”
“Having a seizure and losing my grandpa and great grandparents.”
“When Ryder (a dog) died.”
“I slammed my finger, the same finger, in a door, twice.”
What did you learn from this?
“When someone warns you that there are sharp rocks and that you might not want to climb on them … you might not want to do it.”
“To take care of myself and not get sick so that I don’t get a fever and have a seizure. And try to have happy moments with people so that if bad things happen you won’t feel bad.”
“When somebody dies, they’ll still be by your side and no one stays alive forever.”
“Not to eat that many Oreos, because I get really wild and my finger went in a door.”
What does change mean to you?
“Like money?” (No, not money.) “Sometimes change is good and sometimes change is bad, but try to find the good if you can.”
“Change means that something in your life is different. It’s always happening.”
“Cause and effect. Change means something happens to cause an effect.”
“Like, change your clothes? (Also, no.) “Change means to me when I have a birthday, I turn older and when Ryder died I felt a part missing. I just think of Ryder by my side all the time.”
“Now my finger looks weird and that is bad because, I dunno.”
And here was a bonus question to my kids: What do you think of mom losing her job?
“That’s a life change. A bad life change. But then you can make a job, but it seems to have taken you a while.” (We’re a month out.)
“It’s a life change, but you can find a new job or make one.”
Oh, the perspective. Maybe it’s my age or the place where I’m headed next that makes me feel calm, cool and maybe not collected but secure in the knowledge that it’s just a change, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Cheers to an awesome summer of 2019!
Sammi is a mother, wife and businesswoman. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.