Grown up lessons, memories of childhood

Published 9:23 pm Monday, December 1, 2008

My 6-year-old niece has offered more than her share of insight in her short time here on earth. She is full of information that she shares whether you ask for it or not.

Much of that shared information has been translated in laughter-filled stories that my family has shared on many occasions.

She provided some great new material for all of us this weekend. Knowing all too well the wrath that comes when a nap is missed, my sister made her way over to Grandmommie’s house on Saturday to insist that the children lay down for a rest.

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Since there was fun and games galore, this did not sound like a good idea to anyone under the age of seven. There was resistance to say the least. Kicking and screaming served no purpose as my strong-willed niece met her match in my even-stronger-willed sister.

After admitting defeat and closing her eyes, my niece drifted off to sweet slumber. When she woke, she announced, “I’m 6-years-old and still have to take a nap!”

As they laughed and shared the story with me, my mother, sister and I all agreed that we would love to be required to take a regular afternoon nap.

What is no doubt a treat for us is a great punishment for this young child.

Many toddlers and elementary aged children would surely agree with her.

As we get older, we realize that the things that seemed so awful to us as children really are not that bad.

While most children would rather have coins than dollars, most adults realize the greater value of the paper money. Its crinkle is far more appealing than the jingle of a coin.

You can hardly reason with a child who doesn’t like the taste of the medicine that will make him feel better, but an adult can understand that the temporary bad taste is a small price to pay for the healing that is sure to follow.

We all grow up. One day my little niece will wish that she had the chance to crawl in bed every afternoon and take a nap. She will work hard and realize that her only opportunity for a nap is to try to sneak one in while getting her own children off to sleep.

She’ll choose paper money over coins and take her medicine without hesitation.

She’ll be all grown up.

I just hope that I am here to remind her of the laughs that she provided as she made her way to adulthood.

Wendy Ward is business manager at The Messenger. She can be reached at