Lately my 7 year old daughter has been obsessed with the word freedom. I didn’t think too much of it when she said she wanted to run around outside with her friends and ‘feel freedom’. But then the other day she wouldn’t stop. “Freedom is like…it’s the colour yellow,” she blurted out. Okay.
“And my freedom, my freedom is singing and Nature.”
Whoa. That was interesting. My freedom.
“Tell me more about that,” I asked.
She couldn’t quite explain what that meant but she didn’t need to. I got it. Her freedom – what makes her soul sing – are music and Nature. I knew this about her already, that she loves writing songs, and dancing to the radio in her room, and staring at the trees, noticing birdsong, being outside.
I just loved that she knew it too. She is conscious of these things – her passions – and I never want her to forget them. I don’t want her to tuck these away at some point in adulthood.
From this experience, I learned that children don’t always use the same words that we do. As adults, we might call what she described as our passion, fixation, obsession, love, favourite pastimes, causes we believe in, indulgences, pleasures and so on.
In a 7 year old girl’s vocabulary, all those things come out as freedom.
What are you hearing from your children that tells you they feel strongly about something? If they aren’t telling you, what are they showing you? What do they ask a gazillion questions about? What do they react to?