That was meant to illustrate how expectations of children ramp up to meet whatever is done for them, my sympathies automatically siding with fellow beleaguered parents.
But there’s a harder truth behind that: Children want so much because they need so much. Maybe not ponies, though some reader will no doubt argue that one. But they definitely need food and clothing and shelter and attention and love and vaccinations and storybooks and bedtime kisses and early morning activities and drinks of water in between.
They’ll take as much as they can get, then put it to good use. They’re sponges, soaking up whatever is poured over them, squirreling it away to fuel their astounding metamorphosis, the magic trick of transforming from squealing, pooping, nonverbal, immobile, lumps of flesh slightly bigger than a meatloaf into fully formed, functioning, aware and decent adults.
If all goes right. But what if it doesn’t? What if young children don’t get all the stuff they need? We see the results every day. Bad childhoods lead to bad adults, often, which help create the bad situations we must cope with on personal, family, neighborhood, city, county, state, national and world levels.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker knows this and is expected to push early childhood education in his State of the State address Wednesday.
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|Vatican Museum, 2016|