For most of Theodore Roosevelt’s life, he had no idea. He was active. He was out in nature. He read like crazy. But he had no idea that all these things were harder that they needed to be, he had no idea that he was experiencing only a fraction of what they were actually like…
…until he got glasses at age 13.
“I had no idea how beautiful the world was,” he said. “I could not see, and yet was wholly ignorant that I was not seeing.”
Now the message of today’s message is not just to go get your kid’s eyes checked (although that is a perfectly good idea). It’s a reminder that children have no idea what they don’t know. This is why they are scared easily. This is also why they are sometimes so dangerously brave. This is also why we so regularly find ourselves in conflict with our children, especially as they get older. Because we are perceiving totally different realities—we see a fuller picture and they remain ignorant of what they do not see.
So we have to be patient. We have to take the time to explain. We have to take a minute to check—to see if there is some medical or informational reason behind their behavior. We have to share our assumptions, not simply assume that we are on the same page. We have to help them see what we see.
This will help them understand how beautiful the world is and also how dangerous it is, how important some things are, why we insist on this or that, why it’s not OK to do this or that, what they may be missing.
We know. They don’t. It’s our job to make sure they get a pair of glasses to help them understand.