I like to say I’m well connected with the children of Goshen. Between working at our Campus Center for Young Children (CCYC) for the past four years, having a varying babysitting schedule since middle school, and working at a camp 30 minutes away, I’ve spent a lot of time around children. I believe children are the best people to be around. 

"When you're with kids, your problems don't seem so big."

I love walking into work. No matter what classroom I’m going to, I’m greeted by small children running up to me, yelling my name (or their best attempt at it), and hugging me. My closest friends are never that excited to see me. When a toddler who knows about 20 words says your name, that makes you feel inexplicably special.

Children also have a creativity not achievable by any adult. They don’t just make things, they love to share what they make. Last year I had a whole wall of art from kids, which was a beautiful bright spot in my room. 

Kids say exactly what pops into their heads. For example, this past weekend I was volunteering at Camp Friedenswald for winter camp. I was talking to a dad as his daughter sat on his lap. I said, “Yeah, I decided not to really brush my hair this weekend because it gets tangled as soon as I put on a hat.” His daughter looked at me and said, “Yeah, your hair looks bad.” Did that hurt a little bit? Yes. Was it probably true? Also yes. 

One of my favorite things a child has ever said to me is: “Your teeth are yellow! You drink too much coffee.” She, as it happens, is correct. I’m glad she could get that off her chest while we were playing with Legos. It might just make me think twice about my coffee overconsumption.

I could write an infinite book on all the hilarious things kids have said to me. A toddler I worked with a few years ago had a hard time pronouncing his Bs. At the end of each day, he would smile at his teachers, wave goodbye and say “die die!”

A few weeks ago I was sitting with a 3-year-old kid while he put his shoes on. He looked at me and said, “I need help.” Knowing he could put his shoes on himself, I said, “You can do it!” He quickly rebutted by saying, “I did not bring my muscles today.” Solid argument. 

I’ll end with an interaction I had with a toddler on Friday. Every time I come into his classroom I have a cup of coffee in my hand. All morning he would come up to me and say, “Haley coffee? Can I see?” and when I would show him, he’d giggle. Needless to say, he noticed when my coffee was gone. When I left work and said, “Goodbye everyone!” he looked at me and said, “Haley going to the store to get more coffee?” This logic is impeccable. I came with coffee, it’s gone, I’m leaving, when I come back in two days I will have coffee again.

I hope this piece encourages everyone to spend a little more time existing with kids because when you’re with kids, your problems don’t seem so big.

Anyways, I’m off to the grocery store to get some more coffee.