Being amazed by children … again!

Being amazed is amazing! Children frequently amaze us. Is it that we underestimate the rate and breadth of their learning? Or is it that they know much more than us and we overestimate the rate at which they forget?!

Yesterday, I had the most amazing conversation with my youngest son, and I discussed it further with him this morning.

We were on a bicycle ride in our village and had stopped, as we often do, to look at the small river which flows through the village. We discussed the state of the river in the light of the amount of rain that had fallen recently. We discussed where the water comes from (a small valley above us) and where it flows to (the sea, about 3 miles away).

He asked me whether the water flows all day and night, including when we are asleep, which I confirmed. Then he asked whether the water would be flowing after we died, which I confirmed. Then he asked whether the water would be flowing after everything is “broken up”! When I asked what he meant, he said that he meant when the houses are all broken up and the wooden things and the metal things are broken up and all the people have died! I said that I hoped that that would never happen, but that if it did then it is possible that the river would still be flowing.

This morning, I told him that I was interested in his question of yesterday and would like to know more about what he was asking. He said that he meant that all the things that had been “made” would be knocked down and broken up. We talked about this and agreed that it would be good to do everything we can to prevent this from happening.

Now, I do not know where his ideas are coming from, whether he knows these things already or whether he has developed them himself, whether someone at his school or elsewhere has said something which made him think about this or whether something that he has seen or been read has triggered this question. But, it certainly causes me to think about his views of the future.

I mentioned that we were on a bike ride; while he can ride a bike, he is too inexperienced to ride safely on the road yet. He has a small seat on the crossbar of my bike; he is 4 years and 3 months old!

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