what I've learned from 5 year olds

Nearly every Sunday I drag myself out of bed and drive over to my church where I teach sunday school to a group of energetic five and six-year-old girls. 

What's brilliant about my church is that they seperate the boys from the girls so while the girls and I are coloring, the boys are wrestling.

Although, more often than not, a few of my darling girls decide that wrestling and chasing is for them too. 

When I started teaching, I wasn't too sure what to expect. The lessons are all planned, so I just show up and guide the activities, which depending on the day and the girls present, can be incredibly easy or incredibly difficult.

It's just an hour of time-- give or take a few minutes-- and in that time we talk about a lot and I hear a lot about the girls' fears, excitements and goals. 

What is amazing about these girls is that many of them are very sure of who they are and what they want to be. 

One sweet girl named Norah tells me every week that she's an artist. She says it so matter-of-factly. Last week she told her dad made her an art studio-- a little place just for her to do her art. 

"It has an easel and a curtain for privacy," she tells me. 

While I love hearing her tell me that she's an artist every week, I fear for the day when she'll question herself or the day someone tells her that her art isn't as good as she thinks. Because those days happen-- they happen to all of us. Then we suddenly decide that we aren't artists, or singers or fire fighters anymore. That was just something we thought when we were little kids.
Teaching these five-year-olds each week reminds me that I, like so many others, am too quick to give up on my goals and my dreams. What if I still was five and could tell people with conviction who I was?

My goal for me this year is to live life more like a five-year-old. I want to be like Norah and tell people with absolute conviction who I am. 
Who did you believe you were when you were five? 

Long ago, I said I was a writer. 

xo, erika

p.s. if you want to read more of my writing, I'm sharing a somewhat silly story about marriage on Here's to You, Mrs. Robinson. (It's a story about my wedding...and puke...)


  1. It's so amazing what you can learn through kids. They really do have the easy life. No dreams crushed, just a simple idea. I wish I still had this as well! The confidence to do whatever I wanted. Good luck with your writing!

  2. What a good reminder! I can totally relate to this. My dad still talks about my confidence as a child (and I remember it too). Children are a beautiful reminder of hopefulness!

  3. When I was 5 I thought I would be a "famous singer." I used to strap my walkman onto my bike and ride around my neighborhood singing Paula Abdul and Amy grant. Ah those were the days ;-)

  4. Oh to have the faith of a child! And the excitement over the little things in life. Having young nieces and nephews, I'm reminded again of the way a child sees life. Small things make them smile big. The littlest things you do to amuse them can bring their laughter. Children indeed are so precious and we can learn so much from them!

  5. Awesome post! Nice reminder that we do still need to follow our dreams even as adults and not let anyone make us think we can't do it! We can! Anyone who writes something as beautifully moving as you just did is a writer in my option! You go on and own it!

  6. This post gave me goosebumps.
    Kids are so awesome. I love how they think.
    I can't wait to be an elementary school teacher :)


  7. what a sweet post. sweet and real. when i was five i believed i would be a doctor who would travel to africa as a missionary. while im not anywhere near being a doctor... i still hope to be a missionary someday.

  8. Beautifully said. My daughter is 6 and she LOVES to draw and tell stories and sing. I try each day to let her believe that she can do all of those things because I used to write..but gave up. I used to draw...but gave up. I would love to have Norah's confidence :)


  9. I just found you through your guest post! I love this and I am following along now too. Glad to find another Western Washington blogger. :)

  10. when i was a little girl... i always had a dream of helping babies that have been abandoned. (i srsly played with dolls til i was 12.) i now live in mexico and work with poor communities and orphanages.
    i strongly support dreams... great post. so glad i found your blog!


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