Last week a very dear friend commented favourably on the quiet nature of my daughter. He was the third or fourth person that month to praise her ‘beautiful demeanour’ (their words)
It made me think of all of the people who appear to favour the quiet child. I thought about my son. He is in ear shot of these conversations and lashings of effusive love for his sister. It makes me want to support and encourage him and his hilarious counterparts all the more.
Energetic and strong willed children can be hard work though. I understand that. And some onlookers appear to favour the: no bother-not a bit of trouble-the quiet-I didn’t even notice they were there- child. Please do not mistake my thoughts as oppositional favouritism. I am blessed with a yin and a yang and find equal joy in both merry characters.
But I am forced to consider and commandeer the child who doesn’t always conform to this quiet and calm mould. I want to bury them all under my wing.
(If I could but catch them)
So this is about you.
The child who leads, who dominantly rallies their little friends to make dens, create songs and climb walls. With mud on their face and a shield made of cardboard.
Your niece who is strong willed and stubborn, creative and imaginative.
Your neighbour’s son who craves opportunity, noise, interaction and social chatter.
Your God daughter who always needs carrying, who protests around the clock.
The one who will surprise you with gestures and conjure up secret missions and adventures. Who takes you into their world with them. Who magically makes you feel as though you too are six and three quarters.
The preschooler who climbs the walls in search of tigers, when the others are still sat on the mat.
The jolly bairn who jumps out of the high chair as soon as they’ve demolished their scram. Who’d rather roll the crayons under the table than sit quietly and draw stick men.
The five year old who gets up in the night, to run in and out to tell you about their dream. Then scarpers determinedly into their next reverie.
Your dear one who cries in devastation when you haul them in from the garden. Heartbroken that they have been parted from their mud pie and spade.
All of these wonderful children are often in my eyes over looked. Overlooked in favour of compliance, calmness, placid personalities and quiet silence. I feel that we must consider their ages and brain maturation. To welcome the vast rainbow of difference that we see in our playgrounds.
To those who ask if our baby is ‘good’ as if they are somehow ‘bad’ should they not fall neatly into the compartment labelled ‘Perfect’.
Of course we all want kind and well behaved children. This is not in dispute. Yet I have encountered strong praise recently for our quieter offspring. So, I’m writing in honour of our noisy children. Our beloved characters.
I’m shouting out for them. Loudly.
Yet, their personalities resonate with such fiery clamour that I’d bet they wouldn’t hear me. They are far too busy.