There is a a purity born into every baby…an innocence that runs deep…I imagine every parent feels it whenever they watch their baby sleep.


We not only see it in the way they sleep…but in the morning when they rise…we see it in the way they look at us…it’s in their smile…in their eyes.


I saw it in my children and grandchildren…in the different things they’d say and do…and I imagine you’ve seen it in your children…and in your grandchildren too.


I’m also sure you’ve seen it even if you don’t have children…if that was never meant to be…because innocence is one of the easiest and most endearing sights our eyes will ever see.


Yes, if you want to view a little innocence…watch a child…listen to their sounds…you’ll quickly come to realize…that is…where innocence abounds.


And we’re not alone…nature also sees their innocence for why do you suppose…she allows the ladybug to crawl upon their finger…and the butterfly to land upon their nose.


But innocence is fragile and as the years go by 

if it’s not cared for…

if it’s not nurtured…

there’s a chance that it may die.


So I pray…once born…once created…once that innocence arrives…

we’ll do our best with all our children…to keep that innocence alive..


For I can think of nothing more distressing…

more tragic…

a more sorrowful expense…

than a child who’s lost their purity…

who’s lost their trust…

who’s lost their innocence.


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Through the years of watching our children and grandchildren grow…they never left a doubt…as to those things that were important to them…and those things they never cared about.


They never cared if we were old or bald…or short or tall or fat.

They never cared about our physical flaws…(Boy, were we glad of that!)


They never cared if our house was small…or if the ceiling had a crack.

They never cared if the lawn was mowed…or that there was no grass in the back.


They never cared how much money we had…if we drove a Mercedes or Jaguar…

They never cared if there were scratches or dents…or parts missing from our car.


They only cared that we loved them…and that we somehow found a way

to show them that we loved them…each and every day.


They cared if we were honest and fair…that we were accepting, generous and kind

They cared that we nurtured their hearts, their souls…and helped to improve their minds……


They cared that we spent time with them…and the last time that I checked..

They cared if we treated them with tenderness…with humanity…and respect.


How blessed we’ve been to watch our children and grandchildren grow…

and of this we have no doubt:

They taught us more about life and how to live it…

by the things they never cared about.


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Having worked in schools and now in a bookstore many children have come my way…and whenever I see a child I see innocence on display.


I love the way a child’s mind works….there’s no pretense…no deception…

I love their openness…their candor…love the innocence of their perception.


Recently I was again reminded of that innocence when a mother and daughter I had the pleasure to meet…they were in the bookstore when the mother noticed her daughter’s shoes were placed on her wrong feet.


When she mentioned this to her daughter…her daughter bent down and placed her hands upon her calves…“Don’t be silly Mommy,” she said, “these are the only feet I have.”


Her mother and I smiled at each other…knowing children see things differently…as they struggle to make sense out of the world they hear and see.


I wonder if a child’s mind…(of course this is just a guess)…

isn’t created to absorb love, and acceptance…and cultivate tenderness. 


I picture a child’s mind as vast…

and open…

and wherever it originates from…

the more love and acceptance that’s put into it…

the more open and tender it becomes.


As I watched her mother help her change her shoes…

and, thankfully, not her feet…

I secretly hoped this child’s mind throughout her life

would remain open



and sweet.


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In the circle of life it is vital we peacefully co-exist…which means our children and our elders should never be dismissed.


Children, who are at the beginning of life, and elders, who are nearing the end are equally important and come with their own dividends.


Our children remind us there is wonder and hope…around every corner…around every turn…while our elders have already experienced so much of what we are waiting to learn.


Why should we listen to our children and our elders?

Because...not only is it important to our growth…

but there comes a point in our circle of life…

when we will have been both.




From the time you were a baby many nights after reading you a book and planting a kiss upon your head…after making sure there were no monsters lurking neath your bed.


After praying to the heavens how safe your soul should be kept…your mom and I loved standing by your bed and watching…as you slept.


Do not be alarmed it’s not as crazy as is seems…for parents often cherish every moment they are blessed to watch their children dream.


You see…while you are dreaming of soaring through the sky or sailing the ocean blue…or whatever you might be dreaming of…we are dreaming too.


Our dream is that your life will be like a fairy tale…with a happy ending just for you.

Our dream is that the dreams you dream will…all…one day…come true.


We whisper to you if one dream fails…we will be there with a smile and ice cream…to soothe your heart while encouraging you…to pick another dream.


And another…and another if you must…because in this world dreams are teeming…and while we watch you sleep we hope you never will stop dreaming.


We stopped watching you sleep long ago as the older and older you grew…but we never have…and never will…stop wishing for your dreams to come true…


You see wishing the best for their children…wishing all their dreams come true…wishing for their happiness…is just what parents do.


And no matter how old you get in life…if you ever need a bridge 

from your dreams to our dreams remember…

there’s always ice cream in our fridge.

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Yesterday I was surprised, I was amazed…I was elated

to have the privilege of watching a masterpiece of art being created.


I sat next to the artist…and again I was in awe

as he put his pencil to his paper…and he began to draw.


And I began to smile…then I began to stare

for never have I seen a pencil move so fast..

with so much grace…

and so much flair.


He told me what he was drawing…was it a fire engine…or a bird

but the artist is just learning my language…and I didn’t understand a word.


His inspiration ended quickly…as inspirations sometimes do…

His masterpiece completed…

in a minute…

maybe two.


And again I was surprised and amazed at his generosity

for without a thought about it…he gave his masterpiece to me.


As he ran out of the room…this thought occurred to me…

When he does become a famous artist I can say…

I knew him when we was three.

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When one gives a gift to a child there’s often a confusing paradox...

as the gift is quickly set aside while the child plays in the box.


For children see with their imagination all the journeys to be amassed

In a box that holds not only a present...but trips to the future...and the past


Children know a box can be anything...according to their mood...

A mansion high upon a hill...a fortress of solitude.


A box can be a spaceship...on a mission to the moon

or a stagecoach drawn by horses....arriving at high noon.


A box can be a cave from a time when dinosaurs roamed the land.

or a castle protected from dragons by knights both brave and grand.


A box can be a schooner battling monsters out at sea...

Anything a child envisions...is what a box can be.


So the next time you give a gift to a child...savor the paradox…

knowing they will find joy in the gift you’re giving…

as well as magic in the box.

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I wish, while getting older, as adults we could devise...

a way to grow up and mature…but keep our child eyes.


For children do not see differences in our color, sex or name...

They hold hands and talk to everyone…

as if we we’re all the same.


Children welcome all visitors who enters through their door.

Theirs is a world of peace and love…They do not think of war.


I have no proof it would be different

but I do love to surmise...

what our world would look like today

if we had kept our child eyes?


Would we welcome all visitors who enter through our door?

Would ours be a world of peace…would we never think of war?


Would we not see differences in our colors, sex or names

Would we hold hands and talk to everyone…

as if we were all the same?

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When we watch children playing

unaware of politics, 


or race

we watch how they laugh

how they share

how they hold hands

no matter what color the face.


Then we watch how adults rule the world

causing bloodshed

and havoc

and woe

and we can’t help but wonder

we can’t help but ask…

where did those children go?


Those children who cared for one another

who picked each other up when they were low

who knew of only one race…the human race…

Where did those children go?


And today, as we watch the actions of these adults

and see the traits of children they now lack

not only do we wonder where the children have gone…

but we pray…

oh…how we pray

they will come back.

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