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Shining Brightly熠熠闪烁

by Grace Witwer Housholder 明达 译

阅读难度☆☆☆

In February when we see the hearts and cupids associated with Valentine’s Day, we naturally think of romantic love. But there are many other kinds of love — the love parents have for their children, the love children have for their grandparents, the love we have for our siblings and our dear friends.

As far as romantic love, children are often confused as they try to make sense of impressions they see and hear. For example, in a column a number of years ago I told about two little girls who were playing wedding with their dolls, just a few days after attending a real wedding. The pretend pastor asked the pretend groom, “Do you take this woman to be your ‘awful-headed’(lawfully wedded) wife?”

We’d like to think that children’s quest for romance would stick with their dolls until they are grown up. In reality, even in elementary school little boys and little girls are eyeing each other.

When our son Paul was six he had a crush on a girl in his kindergarten class. Finding out about it, his three older sisters teased him unmercifully.

“Have you kissed her?” one sister asked.

“No!” he replied.

“Have you held her hand?”

“No!”

Then after a moment he said, “But I touched her chair!”

Sometimes young children go farther than touching a chair. They even make plans for marriage. More than 10 years ago, St. John Lutheran School preschoolers Nicolas and Lacey decided that when they grew up they were going to get married. One day while the class was talking about farms, Nicolas said, “When I get big I'm going to live on a farm and get up early to milk the cows!” Lacey, who was sitting next to him, piped up4, “Well, don’t wake me up!”

But young children don’t always plan marriage with their classmates. Sometimes little boys have future plans for their teachers. For example, Wanetta, the mother of four-year-old Christopher, was reading The News-Sun when she came across the story and picture about the wedding of Miss Hartmann.

“Oh, look, Christopher!” Wanetta said. “Your Sunday school teacher’s picture is in the paper!” Christopher glared at the groom. “I wanted her to wait ’til I grew up so I could marry her!” he said.

Sooner or later every parent needs to discuss the “facts of life” with their children. Nearly 20 years ago a co-worker, the father of three, told my husband that he had explained the facts of life to his 9-year-old son, with a lot of embarrassment. When the father was done, the boy looked at him with amazement, and then asked, “You and Mom did that THREE times?”

Moving on from romantic love, there is the love siblings have for each other. Parents hope that their children will love each other dearly and stand by each other throughout whatever life brings, sharing and helping without being asked. But as the children are growing up, the opposite is often true. Children’s natural tendency is to protect what they think is theirs and to acquire even more.

It’s amazing how quick-thinking some tots can be when it comes to defending their toys. When Kathy’s two daughters were toddlers they had identical goldfish that lived in the same fish bowl. One morning they sadly discovered one poor fish floating belly up, dead as a door nail. It was a pathetic6 sight. But even in her grief, little Jaime didn’t miss a beat.

Without a second to spare, she put a consoling arm around her little sister and said, “Oh Katie, so sorry YOUR fish died!”

When it comes to grandparents, kids have a special love that is expressed in a number of different ways.

In 2001 Beverly (mother of six, grandmother of 16) told me she had a lot of “senior” moments. Her granddaughter Brianna introduced Beverly to someone this way, “This is my grandma. Usually I finish her sentences for her!”
Also in 2001, Mike and Debbie brought two of their grandchildren home with them for about a week. When their daughter told her son, Michael, 4, that he would be coming home with his grandparents he was a little confused. He was lucky enough to have three grandmothers since great-grandparents and great-great grandparents are still living.

“Which Grandma and Grandpa?” he asked. His mom explained who Mike and Debbie were, and he said, “Oh, good, that’s the Squeezy Grandma!” He refereed to two of his other grandmas as “The Grandma With White Hair” and “The Grandma That Can Take Her Teeth Out!”

Kids often get confused by the term grandparent and great-grandparent.
More than one child, when asked if he or she was referring to a “great-grandparent” or simply a “grandparent,” has given the quick response — “They’re all great!”

Another confusing term can be “son.”

While getting ready for church, Brenda overheard her husband teaching their daughter Ariel, 3, and their son Jordan, 2, the meaning of “son.” All of a sudden Ariel came running to Brenda and said, “Mommy, Mommy! Guess what? Jordan is Daddy’s son and I’m his moon!”

That reminds me of when Wendy said, “Peter Pan7, you are the sun, the moon and the stars!”

And Peter Pan replied, “Yes, I know!”

Children think the world revolves around them.
Fortunate are the children whose parents understand how their love, guidance and encouragement can help their children — the stars in their life — shine brightly!

当我们在二月份看见与情人节相关的红心和丘比特画像时,我们自然想到浪漫的爱。但是世间还有很多其他种类的爱——父母对儿女的爱,孩子对祖父祖母的爱,我们对兄弟姐妹的爱和对亲密朋友的爱。

说到浪漫的爱,孩子们在试图理解他们从所见所闻中得到的印象时常常感到困惑。比如说几年前,我在一个专栏中讲到了两个小姑娘刚刚参加过一个真正的婚礼后没几天,用她们的玩具娃娃玩结婚的游戏。假装的牧师问假装的新郎:“你愿意让这个女人成为你‘大脑混乱的’(应是‘合法的’)妻子吗?”

我们希望孩子们对浪漫的探求一直附着在他们的玩具娃娃上,直到他们长大为止。事实上,甚至在小学的时候,小男孩小女孩就注意彼此了。

当我们的儿子保罗六岁时,他迷恋上了他幼儿园的一个女同学。发现此事后,他的三个姐姐毫不留情地戏弄他。

“你吻过她吗?”一个姐姐问。

“没有!”他回答。

“你拉过她的手吗?”

“没有!”

过了一会儿,他说:“但我碰过她的椅子!”

有时,小孩子们可不仅仅是碰碰椅子,他们甚至计划结婚呢。十多年前,圣约翰路德学校的学龄前儿童尼古拉斯和蕾丝决定他们长大后要结婚。有一天课堂上说到农场时,尼古拉斯说:“等我长大了,我要住在一个农场里,早早起床去挤牛奶!” 坐在他身边的蕾丝尖声说道:“嘿,别把我弄醒!”

但是小孩子们并不总是计划和他们的同学结婚,有时候小男孩会对他们的老师想入非非。比如说,瓦奈塔是四岁大的孩子克里斯托弗的妈妈,有一天,她在读《新闻太阳报》时看到有关哈特曼小姐婚礼的报道和照片。

“哦,看呀,克里斯托弗!” 瓦奈塔说。“你主日学校老师的照片上报纸了!”克里斯托弗怒视着新郎。“我让她等我长大娶她的!”他说。

每个父母早晚都需要跟孩子说说性知识。大约20年前,一位同事,一个三个孩子的父亲,告诉我丈夫他给他九岁的儿子讲解了性知识,当时这位父亲非常难为情。当他解释完后,儿子惊异地看着他,然后问:“你和妈妈做那事做了三次?”

说了浪漫之爱,让我们再说说兄弟姐妹之间的爱。父母希望他们的孩子们深爱彼此,不管生活中出现什么,都能互相支持,无需对方开口,就能去分担去帮助。但是随着孩子们长大,截然相反的情形往往发生在现实生活中。孩子的本能是保护他们认为是他们自己的东西,而且要获取更多。

有些孩子保护自己的玩具时所表现出的机灵劲儿真是令人惊叹。当凯西的两个女儿还是初学走步的孩童时,她们俩有着一模一样的金鱼,养在同一个鱼缸里。一天早晨,她们伤心地发现一条可怜的金鱼肚子朝上漂在水面,了无生气,那样子真够悲惨的。但即便处在悲痛之中,小杰米也没有错失先机。

没有片刻犹豫,她用一只手臂搂住小妹妹,安慰说:“哦,卡蒂,真难过你的鱼死了!”

对于祖父祖母,孩子们有一种特殊的爱,并以各种不同的方式表达出来。

2001年,贝弗莉(一位有六个孩子的母亲,有16个孙子孙女的祖母)告诉我她“享受”到很多“年长者”待遇。她的孙女布赖恩娜在把贝弗莉介绍给某人时常这样说:“这是我的奶奶。通常我帮她把话说完!”

也是在2001年,迈克和黛比把两个孙子孙女带回他们的家呆一周。当他们的女儿告诉她四岁的儿子迈克尔他将去他祖父祖母家时,小男孩有点搞不清了。他够幸运的,因为他有三位祖母——他的曾祖父母和曾曾祖父母都健在。

“哪个祖母和祖父呢?”他问。妈妈跟他解释是迈克和黛比后,他说:“哦,知道了,是那位干瘦的祖母!”他把另外两位祖母称为“白头发的祖母”和“可以把她牙齿取出来的祖母!”

孩子们常常弄不清祖父母和曾祖父母这类称谓。

不止一个孩子,当被问到他或她说的是“曾祖父母”还是“祖父母”时,往往很快就应答说:“反正是老辈的!”

另一个令人困惑的称呼是“儿子”。

当准备好去教堂时,布伦达无意中听到她的丈夫在跟他们的女儿,三岁的阿里尔,和他们的儿子,两岁的乔丹,解释“儿子”的意思。忽然间,阿里尔跑到布伦达的身边,说 “妈妈,妈妈!知道吗?乔丹是爸爸的儿子,我是爸爸的月亮!”

这让我想起温迪说的:“彼得·潘,你是太阳,你是月亮,你是星星!”

彼得·潘回答说:“是的,我知道!”

孩子们认为整个世界是绕着他们转的。

有的父母知道他们的爱,他们的引导和他们的鼓励能够帮助孩子——他们生活中的星星——熠熠闪烁, 有这样父母的孩子是幸运的!


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