Author: Alana Russotti, SPCC’s Therapeutic Visitation Program Clinical Supervisor
As I’ve meandered my way through various roles volunteering for child advocacy centers, within school systems, past and current positions at SPCC, and in my personal life, I’ve discovered a common thread: we as humans, have a soft spot for kids. We bend over backwards to try and make them feel safe and happy. We make ridiculous faces and voices to encourage a mere giggle. We rock, whisper, hum, & deal with cramps in our arms to help them sleep. Words are spoken that if an adult said, we’d think they were incredibly immature or foolish, but a kiddo says it and we’re entranced with their unintentional wisdom, humor, and kindness.
All of these thoughts began to formulate into a question for me… what is it about these tiny humans that make us want to hold them, love them, protect them, care for them, and advocate for them? Is it their inability to care for themselves? Is it their squeaky high-pitched voices? Is it their big doe eyes and ability to produce crocodile tears on a dime? I decided I’d turn to the experts and see what wisdom they had to help us uncover this mystery.
Question: Why are kids so cool?
“I dunno. They wear cool stuff.”
-Charlie, age 3
“Because they’re cool because they have cool things, like… ummm…they have cool clothes? They have cool… they have cool… balloons? If they have some. They have cool…ummm… hair?”
Are you just looking up pictures in your notebook and you’re going through there?
“Mmhmm. They’re cool because if they could do like, if they knew how to do piano and they do that “dun, dun, dun, dun” song” [hums various piano songs]
“And also they’re cool cause they’re good at reading and they’re good at….”
Why are you cool?
“Because I’m special. I’m special because whenever someone’s sad I’ll help them and when kids are feeling, um, if they’re crying I’ll say, ‘are you alright?’ And in the lunchroom Genna was crying and I let her and the principal talk.”
“Ummm…hmmm…They tickle somebody? They run and play tag. Hmmm…. They try to catch somebody. Ummm…I don’t know what more.”
-Joey, age 5
“I, I, I asked my mom to play and she said in a little bit and she just laid down. But sometime she get up in 9 minutes.”
Asked again why kids are so cool
“ I don’t know, cause they [adults] old. My Dad old. He not too old, but just a little bit old. [Kids] play soccer and play inside with their toys…and I got a lotta toys. Well, I asked my mommy if I can wear my black and white shoes and she said no so I had to wear these shoes.” [Holds foot up to show shoes]
-Jaishawn, age 5
“We don’t need to work… well, only in school.”
-Erica, age 9
“Because they love Mommy & Daddies. They play, and go to bed. I like to play with Henry [brother]…and go to bed.”
-Georgia, age 3
“Umm because they play sports and stuff.” [Giggles]
Parent asks if he knows any kids that are really cool.
“Yea, you! You know how to do art.” -Henry, age 7
“Being cool. I’m a great kid and love Daddies and I love you, love me, so I’m a great person so you know how much I am and you love me.”
I do love you. What makes you cool?
“Ummm…If somebody looks cool…. When everybody is special then every kid comes to everybody that they know.
Who’s cooler, kids or adults?
“Kids. Because they love Daddies and they love you…so much”
–Ava, age 3
Well what’s your favorite thing about your brother?
“He’s a toy. I play with him.” –Rhys, age 2
“Because they get ta play outside sometimes and they get to play.”
-Sam, age 5
“I cool dude.” –Jake, age 2
“Because kids get to go to school and school’s more fun than work I think. And I get to go to recess, and at work sometimes you get a break, but barely you ever get a break at work. And you always get breaks at school and recess. And kids get to go outside and play during the day and you can’t go up to your boss and say can I go outside to play at work. And, ehhh, that’s why kids are cooler than grown-ups.”
–Cassie, age 10
“Cause, um…because they can play, they get to play on the playground. They get teached, they go to specials.”
-Jessica, age 7
“Cause they’re better than grownups. They can jump off buildings. They can do more exercises.”
-Selena, age 7
“They can, um, eat nachos, they can get toys and they get money and cake for their birthday. And they better at games than adults.”
-Robert, age 9
“Because I like to strum guitars and play with lights and…and play in Daddy’s office and there’s a bookshelf and there’s a drum and a TV. And a couch. And they mess with the computer.”
What do you do that’s cool?
“Mess with the computer. [points to lights] they mess with lights. Cause they lawn….they mow the lawn…by themselves [giggles]. Kids like construction, fire trucks, garbage trucks. [mumbles] mess with guitars. They chop things down. They saw stuff down.”
Do kids ever tell any jokes?
[shakes head no]
I’ve heard you tell a joke.
“What kinda joke?”
Like you do the hamburger…what’s that one? I forget it.
“How does the hamburger cross the road?”
Forgot. I forgot.
I think you used to stay by driving!
[smiles and laughs] “That’s a funny one.”
Why do you think Mommy thinks you’re cool? Any ideas?
[whispers] “Play. I go to school, that’s why I am so cool, right?”
Ohhh you go to school and that’s why you’re so cool? That could be one thing, yea!
[Hums and eats cereal]
Is there any last thing you want to say about why kids are cool?
“Why do you have to be a kid?”
Why do you think?
“Because it’s cool. It’s awesome [growls].”
-Abel, age 3