I love the sound of children’s voices. Talking, playing, even when little ones are crying or shrieking, they communicate with such honesty. There is no filter of right or wrong, no nuance to soften their feelings. There is no feigned empathy or false joy.
They are just true, to themselves first.
“Mommy, do you mind if we make a kitty house?”
“Good news, my pee is white!”
“Austria smells better than Africa.”
“My favorite bus is the 35A! What’s your favorite bus, Mom?”
“When you’re an adult you’re lucky because you don’t get a milk mustache, and you don’t have to ask to be excused.”
When you change the world, does it happen all at once, or do you do it by changing just one person at a time? This summer my gangly kids stood up on paddleboards, and rode the Metro alone. How will the world change twenty or thirty years from now, because someone learned something in childhood that taught them they can do anything?
What if they end up believing it?
Having twins isn’t something I analyze very much but sometimes, I notice things. Like that I always know what Jake and Eli are thinking because they talk to each other, and I overhear them. About school, friends, video games, the bathtub. Without me having to ask I get to know what they’re thinking, and hear their emotions and insights.
“Tattoos are mostly pointless, I would say, but like, getting one of a kitty is not pointless.”
This summer travel agency was set up in the living room so we could visit all our favorite cities. Istanbul, Cyprus, Prague, Budapest. Mike and I request new vacations and get our itineraries delivered to the kitchen. Eli and Jake get out the globe to find Mallorca, and learn how airplanes work by watching Popular Mechanics for Kids.
Even at the ripe old age of 9, there are still so many new things to learn.
“How come when you throw a ball straight up in the air while you’re walking, it moves with you?”
Summer this year with the kids has been fun. Not worrying about bedtime, feeling happy they’re at Daddy Camp, knowing we are the ones influencing their little minds and keeping their dreams safe. Maybe that’s enough to change the world? Or maybe it isn’t.
So far, it’s enough to change mine.