May 25, 2006

Wonder and Twinkle -- by Bruce Lin


The moon of the light,
The sea of the blue,
Everywhere, everywhere, on the earth.
However, I saw the petals
Blowing in the air like stars

An American mother showed me this poem, Wonder, written by her 6-year-old boy. There are no difficult words in it, but somehow those simple words get off the ground, transporting the reader to the realm of a dreamy world. His Wonder makes me wonder: Would our six-year-olds come up with poems like that? Maybe, if their parents wouldn’t cram them with too much knowledge that blocks their imagination.

The mother proudly showed me another poem, Twinkle:


O mother,
Your beautiful eyes,
They twinkle,
Like stars.

Your eyes,
Whenever they open,
My heart feels nice.

I looked at the mother when I finished reading it, and indeed the mother’s eyes twinkled. Parents like that are unusual. I often have parents coming to me asking how to help their kids pass certain English tests. Those parents’ eyes rarely twinkle; instead, they often look concerned, insecure, anxious, or puzzled. You could sort of imagine that those worries would be carried through their kids’ lives, and it is difficult to stretch creativity when too much worry is in the way.

I asked the American mother what kind of learning environment she gave the boy. With her eyes twinkling again, she said that she just wanted him to be happy.


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