Scene: Our front garden; me weeding, Chelsea (3 and a half) watering random things (some of them plants).
Chelsea (pointing to a rose bush): That plant’s dead.
(I look around for the dead plant that she’s pointing at, and only see the rose bush, which is most definitely alive and healthy. Then I see what she’s pointing at; a flower that’s well past its prime, drooping and browned off around the edges.)
Me: Oh, right…yes. That flower is a bit brown and yucky isn’t it?
Chelsea: It’s still beautiful though.
(at which point I’m thinking Heck no, it’s awful…but then I think, why do I think it’s awful? Because it’s no longer what society would recognise as a useful gift? Why isn’t a dying rose considered as beautiful as a budding rose? If she can see beauty, who am I to tell her not to? I look at her, appreciating the insight she’s just taught me.)
Me: Maybe you’re right Chelsea. You’re much smarter than me.
(then…wait for it…)
Chelsea: Not smarter. Just a different kind of smart.
(At this point I’m totally astounded. I can’t help being gobsmacked by the incredible wisdom of that remark, so much so that I stop what I’m doing and look straight at her. She can see beauty in a dead or dying rose; I can do logic. And she’s articulated that perfectly. But then she follows it up with an even more profound insight.)
Chelsea: Sometimes we don’t like the things that we see. But the things are still beautiful.
Not preachy. Not self-righteous. Just the matter-of-factness of a child.
I think that may just be my quote of the year.