Have I mentioned that I love having a kid? It makes me do things like re-read childhood classics. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery is a fable that certainly qualifies as such. Before my most recent reading of this little book to Meghan, I last read it in twelfth grade French class. Le Petit Prince was the first (and last) novel I tackled in the French language. I don’t know if the message of this little book resonated so much then as it does now. Perhaps that’s because I had to look up every third word in the Dictionnaire Francais (I’m ashamed to admit this Madame Krasucki)! Or perhaps it’s because when I read it in high school, I was on the cusp of adulthood and growing further away from my own childhood much to the Little Prince’s chagrin.
For it was he who said such things as, “All grown-ups were children first. (But few remember it)” and “Grown-ups like numbers. When you tell them about a new friend, they never ask: ‘What does his voice sound like?’ ‘What games does he like best?’ ‘Does he collect butterflies?’. They ask: ‘How old is he?’ ‘How many brothers does he have?’ ‘How much does he weigh?’ ‘How much money does his father make?’ Only then do they think they know him.”
Maybe you too have read this little book before? If so, I encourage you to read it again–especially if, like me, you’re a parent or a grandparent, Godparent, guardian or caregiver of little ones. It has made me take pause and consider how this little daughter of mine might look at the world–with no preconceived notions and a curiosity and wonder that I hope I can help her preserve as long as possible.
It reminds me of a birthday card I once received from a friend when in high school. I saved it (yes, I’m an admitted pack rat) because I liked its message, and until a recent re-decorating, I had it hanging above my desk at home.
I think I need to post it in a place of prominence once again. I suspect the Little Prince would approve.