One of my favourite books during my own childhood was the Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder.
I've recently revisited it and am struck by the resilience of the children. During one episode, the two older girls are left by themselves, aged 8 and 9, as their parents and baby sister travel to town a few miles away. They are completely isolated, no phones, no neighbours, no electricity. They must fetch wood and water for their needs and their only companion is their large dog.
My own girls are older than Laura and Mary and have been through some extremely tough times in their short lives so far. I'm proud of them, the way they have coped and matured into two well balanced individuals. I'm proud of their thoughtful inquisitive minds, their sensitivity to others and the planet and I harbour the hope and belief that they will be able to safely negotiate the teenage years to become two very lovely women.
It makes me wonder if we underestimate children. Perhaps they are all as capable as Laura and Mary Ingalls were but we have been brainwashed into forgetting how determined and inventive most humans really are and at a very young age.
What do you think? How were you as a child?