A conversation is a simple act that we perform daily, multiple times, and most often, it’s a need for information to get from point A in your day to point B. Until I started Bright Littles, conversations with my daughter were most often a one-way street of information or, to put it bluntly, me telling her something that would move us forward in the day.
"Put your shoes on."
"Do you want cereal or egg and toast?"
"Time to take a shower."
"10 minutes until bedtime."
My shift in telling her vs. talking with her arrived with the pandemic. The jarring change to our lives was sudden, swift, and felt most harshly by my then 4-year-old daughter. Overnight, we were no longer able to attend school, go to birthday parties, have playdates, visit family, go to restaurants, shop in grocery stores, basically (as we all experienced) go anywhere or do anything. As parents, we were full of fear, and she was full of questions.
"Why can’t I go to school?"
"Why can’t I see my friends?"
"When will we see nana and papa?"
I started to educate myself and look for ways to answer her questions in an age-appropriate way about topics that were relevant in our lives and the lives of others - Covid, racism, privilege, death, Asian hate, bullying, and more. The answers to the questions were not to be found. The tools I needed had not been created. The world had so abruptly changed that everyone was still catching their breath, but as a parent, you don’t have the luxury of time. My need was urgent, my child was suffering from loss, sadness and fear, while I was also suffering from loss, sadness and fear.
The start of Bright Littles was on post-it notes with questions around feelings in a bowl that we could pull out and start having meaningful two-way conversations. Poppy looked forward to this time together where I gave her my undivided attention. I listened to her, and our conversations started creating positive change in very small ways in our family.
Mommy not having any of the answers turned out to be a gift that has bloomed into a mission of changing the world one conversation at a time.