I’ve said a few things about curiosity, but I’d love to share one more story today. It was the beginning of the pandemic and we lived in an apartment complex with lots of children. A sweet child who often came to our door asking about injured birds and curiously asking about gender roles had an extra curious question for me at the trash cans this afternoon. I finished my sessions and went to do some household chores, one of which was taking the trash out to the cans or dumpster. I ran into our neighbor and her child. The child asked if I was pregnant. I wasn’t, but I had gained some weight. It was so funny because I knew just how to address this curious question.
Their mom was amazing in that she reintroduced us to her child months ago by announcing their pronouns and name rather than the dead name we once knew the child by. Mom cringed and kindly said her child shouldn’t ask this and tried to say why my belly wasn’t big. I actually took it a little differently. The child saw my body change and rather than do niceties or teach about “knowing your audience” I got to simply validate the changes they saw. I said became their height and I said, “you know what, you’re totally right, my body looks different now.” I said, “my belly is a different size than it use to be and I’m not pregnant.”
They then had cute questions about if I wanted a baby and other things, but for the sake of this article I’ll stick to the point of curiosity. Rather than scold our curious minds or redirect them onto a rigid and boring track we can note what’s there. We can embrace curiosity. Sure we can be kind, but the child had no unkind words for me. They simply noted a difference and shared their curiosity.
What if we were all 10% more curious and 10% less punishing? I know I’d benefit from a little more curiosity and a little less punishment. Wishing you a curious moment today and I’m looking forward to more discussions with you next week ❤