“Children, these days!” – prompted by four boisterous pre-teen children who were distracting me in the library the other day.

Pre-pubescent children, these days, are like untended gardens.  It is not that the generations before them were devoid of insolence, but those children were pruned and managed, and the weeds in those gardens were less frequently sheared than snipped.  Nor is it that today’s children are devoid of the sparkling charms of youth that made us adore their historical, much romanticized counterparts.  The very playfulness, the very sincerity of expression, the very astuteness that we saw in those idealized representations of what children were, have simply been twisted and corrupted and have overgrown into impenetrable jungles, stifled by weeds and sins, which will take the better part of a lifetime to unravel and tidy up, but in which it is not yet impossible to see a glimmer of the beauty that was meant to be abundant shine through the gaps between the tangled vines.

Children, however untended and undisciplined they may be, are still lovable and still beautiful, if only we would concentrate hard enough to discern their sparkling charms, green shoots among the weeds.

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