I had just boarded a boat to cross the Strait of Gibraltar, when I heard a preschooler holler “Mirarme! Mirarme!”
Although I had taken five years of Spanish classes, these were the first Spanish words I had immediately understood after two weeks in Spain.
I turned and saw two nearby adults whom I assumed were the girl’s parents and the object of her commands, “Look at me. Look at me.”
The young child wasn’t doing anything exceptional, just frolicking on the deck, but she wanted her parents to see and undoubtedly applaud.
When a college friend interviewed me for her sociology essay, I relayed this story.
That is what I needed to know,” she said. “What is universal across cultures? Children wanting their parents’ attention.”
Kay’s observation has stuck with me forty-four years. Children never lose their desire for you to pay attention to them.
What can you do when you don’t know what to do? When parenting or homeschooling seems too hard? Look at them and give attention.
It is the easiest to do and the hardest to remember.
Heading for the airport to fly to Madrid. My high school Spanish Club spent four weeks traveling though Spain, Portugal and Morocco.
Who is calling “Look at me?” Perhaps silently?