Most of us have heard of the K.I.S.S. concept – keep it simple stupid – don’t over-complicate a situation and make it worse. But, most of us LOVE complicated. By our actions, we show that we love complicated. We keep jamming more stuff and things and situations into our lives. Consider this – your puzzle has as many pieces as you want…and most of us want a lot. The majority of our pieces are relational – high school, college, jobs, family, church, activity – we end up with a lot of relationships that we put into our lives and then we have to figure out how much energy we have for them – but before we get too far ahead – lets go all the way back to your first puzzle! The four pieces of the infancy puzzle – eat, sleep, poop, family.
Not complicated – crying pretty much weaves the puzzle together – hungry = whah; tired = whah; dirty diaper = whah; someone other than mommy grabbing you = whah.
Until potty-training / pre-school started – there was a very simple puzzle to navigate. Why are children happy, teachable, loveable, bundles of joy? Maybe, it’s because they have so little to concern themselves with. Our first test in life starts early with our transition to our school years – and our 4 piece increases to a 10 piece or so puzzle – teacher, principle, 3 or 4 classmates we begin building with, throw in a sports team or two…and suddenly we are faced with stress and pressure – have you ever seen a child lose it? Go full ballistic? You know, epic melt-down mode? Why does this happen – puzzles get messy and it’s hard to navigate new situations…crying always worked before – that’s what it is. I have had those moments as an adult – and I have seen most of my friends do the same.
So, how does looking back at infancy and early childhood help us now? We could see this as a call to simplify our lives…not a bad idea for a lot of us. There are probably pieces you have in your puzzle that you simply do not benefit from and do not need. I also think, looking at the transition of infancy to childhood – and the challenges that it produced for most of us, can remind us that today as adults – when we are in times of transition – there will be stress, it will get messy, and we will need help. A new teacher perhaps? A new principal or principles to govern our puzzle? Let’s learn a lesson from ourselves – our pre-school selves – life is tough, it has pieces to manage, but when we keep it simple, we can enjoy life with child-like exuberance.
Take some time to consider your transition into your early school years today…and in our next piece we will move into Middle school.