Careful the things you say
Children will listen
Into the Woods by Stephen Sondheim
Think children aren’t paying attention to everything around them when they’re going to see Santa?
Don’t be deceived. Children are very perceptive and you may find that a small side commment will stay with a child forever.
It was almost fifty years ago. The boy had gone with neighbors to a small town Christmas parade. After the parade, Santa was going to greet the children in the local fire hall.
There was a crowd at the door as people pushed forward to be the next in line.
The boy stood there. He might have been ten, or maybe eleven. Always a large child, he’d become used to the taunts of his school mates. But he didn’t expect it from adults.
Standing in line, trying not to be pushed out of the way, the boy waited his turn.
Then the man next to him, there with his own family of red-haired children looked at the boy and said,
“My God, son, you’re as big as Santa.”
The boy stepped out of line and never went to see Santa again.
Be careful of what you say. Especially in this year when things are a challenge because of COVID-19. Everyone is a little on edge, and children, while very adaptable, just might not understand everything that is going on.
A casual, but cruel, comment could last a lifetime.
Children will listen.