frightening and wonderful

This morning, Michael ran off ahead of me on the way to school as he usually does. (It seems there is something shameful about arriving at the school gates with your mum if you are nine.)

As I watched him running off, I saw him stop and turn and smile and say ‘hello’ to Nada.  I don’t know if I have ever felt more proud.

Nada is recently from Saudi Arabia and wears hijab and niqab ( I think those are the terms – in any case she is completely covered, apart from her eyes).  No one ever speaks to her on the playground and children, not surprisingly, often stare.  That is why a few months ago I started to try to attempt very simple conversations with her which involve a lot of gestures and smiles.  She has been round for coffee and has invited the boys and me to her home, too.

I never told Michael that he should be friendly to Nada.  He just picked that up.

All the books about youth work that I am reading at the moment say something very similar.  Children and young people are influenced by who we are.  It is both frightening and wonderful.

3 comments on “frightening and wonderful

  1. Thanks for your thoughts, Karen. Love the theme of the blog! Keep writing.

  2. Wendy Mason says:

    Yes, frightening and wonderful! Enjoying reading this!

  3. Hi Karen. What a lovely thing to happen. Funny I was having a similar themed conversation with Jack in the car today in the coop car park. Not about friendliness but about where and how we learn the lessons of life and how our lives are shaped. Of course this is my adult interpretation of the conversation, you’d have to translate it into 10 year old boy speak to hear what we actually said. I think it was along the lines of music lesson at school, a guiro, some cymbals and Jack sorting out a dispute amongst his group in a diplomatic and thoughtful way!
    It’s so cool when your children make you proud of them and they don’t even realise.
    Great blog so far x

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