I ran into a dear friend this morning at a coffee shop, and she immediately hugged me and told me how much the letter her son received from the child in Burundi meant to him. I have been approached by so many mothers who have told me that their children - ages 5, 6, and 7, have been explaining to them at home who wrote to them and where they are from. It is amazing how much children can understand at a young age about the world. It is also clear that children are naturally curious, open, interested, and empathetic toward others, especially other children in need. This experience has taught me so much about these natural, childlike impulses, uninhibited, and I am more convinced than ever that prejudicial ideas and ideas around exclusivity are learned behaviors that are, in fact, counter to true human nature. I'm not a psychologist, but these are my impressions.
I have also been touched to see how at this young age children are absorbing these lessons about others with different lives in different places. Charlotte announced yesterday that she has a pen pal in Burundi. This morning Oliver (7) asked me if he could ever go to Africa, and Dorothy (3) asked to look at mommy's Africa pictures. Oliver said, I want to go to Bujumbura - of course I said yes!