The Herald Bulletin

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March 15, 2014

Theresa Timmons: Irresistible words of wisdom from a four-year-old

Over the years you have gradually become acquainted with my family through the words of this column. The latest Timmons production (nearly five years old now) is my grandson Cayden. He was very tiny when he was born, but has compensated by being active and loud.

He has opinions and plenty to say. We have an interesting relationship. I see him as the light of my life and he sees me as a giant toy.

We have a lot of fascinating conversations as he shares the wisdom he is gradually acquiring as he muddles through his life. Recently he tragically lost his other mamaw, and it was a challenge to explain the situation in a way that he could understand.

But he needed to understand.

"Your mamaw died." I said.

"Why is evweebody cwying?" he asked.

"Because it is very sad when someone dies, and people cry when they are sad."

"Oh," he said. I could see that he was processing, processing, processing death and sadness. I didn't feel it necessary to elaborate unless he needed more clarification. When you are four years old you just want the basics. Details take too much time.

A few weeks later we were having a debate in the car about whether or not suckers will rot teeth, and he blurted something out that seemed completely out of context.

"Dying is vewy dangoowus (translation: very dangerous) for childwen," he announced. He was using his "for your information" tone, so he apparently thought he was adding words of wisdom to the dental lesson. It was likely a conclusion he had reached related to his grandmother's death.

I agreed. "Yes. Extremely dangerous. As dangerous as it gets."

A minute or so passed before we spoke again.

"Do you want to go to school and learn to say your 'r's?" I asked.

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