By Meghan Peterson
The views stated here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the staff or other editors of this newspaper. We welcome supporting or opposing views on any published item.
Perhaps as a result of being a mama to two young boys, I cannot help but notice something: kids are the opposite of stupid. When I say opposite, I mean the complete anti of stupid. Kids are refreshingly clever, freedom-loving, free-spirited, resourceful, and very willing to counter their mommy. Evidently, I need to up my ante to compete with my children’s anti.
I tell them to eat, they are conveniently not hungry. I tell them it is time to go to sleep, they get not a second, but a third wind. They are dirty from rolling around in the leaves and touching the “helicopter” seeds common this season; they need a bath. Not happening. If bath is to occur, I guarantee you will hear two howling coyotes during a Harvest moon who just happen to be my toddler and baby.
As adults, we intuit this to be the case. We prepare for the stubbornness of our kids. Preparing for it and actually being in it, however, are two distinct things. Yet, we relish this stubbornness in a way. It can be delightfully humorous and painstakingly frustrating at the same time. Why the mixed emotions? We, too, want to be that child. Children thrive in the power of play, of imagination, of thought – all of which mitigate against stupidity and laziness.
Kids are what adults wish they could be: free-spirited, loving, and non-acquiescent. Children have an innate sense of resourcefulness that some may call rebellion. I suppose that innate sense never quite disappears as children adolesce. When my children refuse to acquiesce, they are asserting and claiming their independence from me, The Mommy.
The concept of acquiescence derives from the Latin word, “acquiescere/adquiescere,” which means “become quiet, remain at rest, rest, repose.” Source: etymonline.com/word/acquiesce
Acquiescence, as defined by Merriam Webster, is “passive acceptance or submission.” More often than not, my kids certainly do not “become quiet,” “remain at rest” or engage in activities that would resemble anything like “passive acceptance or submission.” They are anything but quiet.
To be clear, there is nothing wrong with quiet; we know the aphorism, “silence is golden.” Silence is valuable and important, as is rest. Sometimes, however, you have to make a noise – a racket of sorts. In fact, I worry when my toddler and baby are too quiet. It makes me think they are plotting an act of rebellion or are already engaging in one. I like when they make a ruckus. It shows me that they are well, thriving, and being boys – who just so happen to be making a disaster out of my kitchen.
If you are making a racket, a mess, a clamor, that may not be such a bad thing after all. It demonstrates a refusal to acquiesce, a firm “yes” to the “anti.” There are times and places for acquiescence – perhaps. But as my sons would gladly and proudly inform you, that time is not now.
So, as we begin to greet autumn, may we practice some anti-acquiescence and anti-quiet – particularly in a society that seeks to render “non-acquiescers” mute.