letter to the editor

Is there a 4-year-old that can do a better job?

Posted:  Tuesday, December 12, 2017 - 11:15am

Dear Editor:

When my son, Delmar, was four years old, we drove two hours each way to get him to a pre-school close to my 8 a.m. job. As you can imagine he was either sleeping or solving a new puzzle in his head. Beginning our journey at 5:45 a.m. was not easy, but one morning he was uncommonly quiet, looking up at the stars and later watching the sun rise. Then came the profound solution — “You know what Mom?”, asking this in total confidence. “What?” I asked. “Every day the sun eats the stars and every night there are new baby stars born to shine in the sky,” he affirms.

What do you say to a 4-year-old whose picture is beautiful and yet factually missing information? You note the mental work and conclusion have great logic and the beautiful picture is welcomed with a smile.

A month later we are headed home while Santa Ana hot winds swirl. Windows are kept closed as the air conditioner cools the air. Delmar seems restless as he works on solving another mind-wrestling problem. Again he asks, “You know what Mom?”, and I answer “What?” He sits up straight in his seat as if this profound answer is about to shake up the world. “God is just like the government!” I could not stop my laughter as I blurted “I always thought the government thought they were God.” A time when Nixon was in trouble.

The quizzical look on Del’s face shouted “Think deeper!” Suddenly I realized his logic system was working. Smiling, I say, “Technically you are correct. God is always working to help us solve problems, but we cannot see Him. The government is also supposed to be working to solve problems, but we can’t see them either.” It was good to see his smile.

In 1972 a 4-year-old child is trying to understand how the world works. I suspect he, like many of us, is still wondering what happened. Is there a 4-year-old that could do a better job?

Jarryl Larson