Kids have always been like this. They’ve always been crazy. Always had trouble sleeping at night. Always liked to play and explore. They’ve been overwhelmed by hormones. They’ve been driving their parents crazy a long time.
We talked a while back about Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s Children’s Games painting which depicts a loud and raucous scene of kids playing outside. It’s 463 years old and yet, with a few exceptions, it resembles almost exactly what the kids in your neighborhood were doing last weekend.
It’s also weird to think how long kids have been vibing with, connecting to the same stories. Goodnight Moon has been putting kids down to bed for 76 years. The Velveteen Rabbit, which we’ve been talking about recently, was written in 1921. Hans Christian Anderson wrote The Emperor’s New Clothes, The Little Mermaid, and The Princess and the Pea and parents have been reading them to their kids ever since. Aesop’s Fables have been teaching timeless moral lessons to kids and adults since the 6th century BC. And kids have been laughing at
Odysseus’ trick on the cyclops (“Nobody poked out my eye!!!”) for longer than that.
It’s a surreal and edifying tradition we’re a part of, isn’t? The same stories. The same lessons. The same sense of humor. The cunningness of the Trojan Horse still catches our attention. The idea of “sour grapes” it’s still true. The father telling his kids a story to pass time on a long journey. A mother’s reassuring voice as they drop off to sleep. Their nature, our nature, human nature…it’s a mostly timeless, eternal thing. A thing we’re a part of, a thing we’re continuing.
We’ve been trying to continue this tradition with our 2 all-ages parables—The Boy Who Would be King and The Girl Who Would be Free—about some of the essential Stoic stories and the timeless lessons embedded in them. The Boy Who Would Be King is about the journey of Marcus Aurelius from a timid boy to the ruler of the known world. And The Girl Who Would Be Free tells Epictetus’ story of finding freedom internally, in the mind, through philosophy, before having it bestowed by legal decree. Both have so many exciting and inspiring lessons, you’ll want to read them as a family!