This starts with me. This starts with you. We must make the deliberate decision to allow our children to make discoveries on their own.
I love avocados. Not that you care. But I do. I was harvesting the fruit from one a few weeks ago when Simon piped up, "Mom, what happens if we plant that big thing?"
And right there. In that second. I had a choice.
Choice #1: Squash Discovery and Wonder
I could explain that it's a seed, toss the pit in the trash, start conquering the housework, and send him out to play.
Choice #2: Foster Discovery and Wonder
I could ask questions leading to more wonder and leading to Simon discovering the answer for himself: What do you think it is? Would you like to plant it and find out what happens?
I did ask Simon those questions that day. I got a big nod. A big smile. It was a big plan for a little kid.
Do you think I genuinely wanted to plant an avocado seed? Part of me did. But most of me wanted to dump it in the compost heap and be done with it. I easily could have spouted out the answer to my son's question: It makes a tree. They don't grow in our cold climate. Would you like some guacamole?
But sometimes answering the question isn't enough. We have to be willing to drop what we're doing; grab moments like this; and say hey, I could really cultivate some curiosity right now. And then do it even when it's a little bit harder or a little bit messier. Let them investigate, wonder, and discover.
Because discovery leads to more curiosity.
I know that great, interesting, and valuable discoveries can be made and will be made . . . and I am awaiting them, full of curiosity and enthusiam. -Linus Pauling