Candor ends at 6?

November 4, 2010

Recently, David Rochester wrote:

Last night I had occasion to attend a Celebration of Autumn party which was heavily attended by the under-six crowd. In watching and listening to these children, I was struck by their directness; they asked for what they wanted, and were clear about what (and whom) they did and didn’t like. And I thought about the fact that we spend most of our adolescent and adult lives trying to recapture the honesty and candor we naturally had as young children. Most of us, I think, never do get back to that place of being really honest with ourselves and others. Yes, some of that is good boundaries, but a lot of it is fear-based. And I wonder what we’re afraid of … usually the consequence of honesty would be to part us from people and circumstances dragging us down and making us inauthentic.

Random Granddaughter is now six years old. We received an invitation from her private school, which she attends with children of a famous SW billionaire (for whom I would probably have to eliminate you with extreme prejudice if I named), to observe her in first grade during “Grandparents and Grandfriends Day.”

Does she really want Grandma and Grandpa to observe her? Her Mommies say, “Yes, she does.”

Or is she just saying that because she thinks she is supposed to? Well, probably she really wants us to attend. But by second grade she may just be acting polite.

Right now she throws a hissy fit when asked to eat something she does not want to eat, and she is direct in saying what she likes and doesn’t like. But pretty soon she will learn to eat what her parents and grandparents say she should eat, and pretty soon she will learn to hide the honesty and candor she had at two, three, four, and five years of age. Comes with the territory, I’m afraid.

I’ve put away most of what I’ve written about her in my blog with instructions for it to be given to her when she is fifteen years of age. If she hasn’t already run away from home by then or started a revolution somewhere or living in a commune in San Francisco or Washington, D.C. or Chicago.By then she will deny she ever knew me…or the child I described in her infancy and toddleracy.