Yesterday, we were walking downtown from the science museum to the pizza place where we were going to have lunch before hitting the children's library. It was a great day, and the kids were happy and chatting. Some days I feel like we don't just talk much. I don't let it get to me because I strongly believe that children need and deserve a private life away from parents and other adults. But on these days when we chat, tell jokes and laugh together, I relish it. What really rocks is when a conversation turns serious and we all get a moment of clarity.
Camille: "Mama why do people have war?"
Me (after a long shocked pause): "Well sometimes people fight over land."
Camille: "That's dumb. The land is big and there's room for us all."
Me: "Yes there are people who think like you do but there are others who think we shouldn't have to share land."
Camille: "Well sharing is good!"
Me: "I agree. Sometimes it's about who we have to share with. Some people don't want to share with others. You know they don't want to share with people who are different colors or who talk and look differently."
Camille: "That's fucking stupid!"
(We're having a slight issue with bad language with Camille but this times she's right. It is fucking stupid.")
Me, in a sudden, rare, inspirational moment: "Why do you fight with Piper?"
Camille: "Okay, okay, it's stupid."
Me: "Maybe but why do you?"
Camille: "We don't want to share. Or we're being mean to each other."
It was a moment where I know that Camille got it. I am not naive enough to think it will stop the fighting but it did make her think. We've had some pretty intense fights here between the girls. Camille often doesn't hold back and Piper gets scratched or punched. Frequently it's because Piper is just being social when Camille wants to be alone. But here was a moment where I was able to get Camille to see her actions in a new way. It wasn't a lecture, just a gentle nudge in a new direction.