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From the desk of by Dora DePaoli: Kids always are ready to help

June 04, 2002

While raking the yard with my grandson, Eric, after several days of wind, the trash container quickly filled up. The first couple of times Eric climbed on top of the pile to tramp down the leaves.

When we still had more leaves to compact he looked at me and said: "Mimi, you better jump on it. You weigh a whole lot more than 53 pounds."

He was right. By putting my considerable weight into it I got the pile down another foot or so and we were able to finish the cleanup.

When I was visiting in South Carolina recently my grandchildren asked their parents about dating. Phil and Debbie told them how they met in San Diego while both were working on the construction of a water reclamation project.


They answered several questions before 6-year-old Ben finally came up with his take on marriage.

"I don't think I'll ever get married," he stated, "There are too many pretties out there."

To this 8-year-old Bo wisely replied: "Ben, you better watch what you say or you'll end up in the newspaper."

I think he is on to me.

The children get a lot of Bible lessons at the parochial school they attend. Later the same evening Ben started talking about something he heard from "the Book of Max." I guess that sounds pretty close to the Book of Acts.

My husband's cousin sent me the following about children:

A Sunday school teacher asked the children just before she dismissed them to go to church, "And why is it necessary to be quiet in church?" Annie replied, "Because people are sleeping."

Another Sunday school teacher asked her class why Joseph and Mary took Jesus with them to Jerusalem. A small child replied: "They couldn't get a baby-sitter."

A teacher was discussing the Ten Commandments with her 5- and 6-year-old children. After explaining the commandment to "honor thy father and thy mother," she asked, "Is there a commandment that teaches us how to treat our brothers and sisters?" Without missing a beat one little boy answered, "Thou shall not kill."

At Sunday school they were teaching how God created everything, including human beings. Little Johnny seemed especially intent when they told him how Eve was created out of one of Adam's ribs. Later in the week his mother noticed him lying down as though he were ill, and said, "Johnny, what is the matter?" Little Johnny responded, "I have a pain in my side. I think I'm going to have a wife."

Author and lecturer Leo Buscaglia once talked about a contest he was asked to judge. The purpose of the contest was to find the most caring child.

The winner was a 4-year-old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman's yard, climbed onto his lap and just sat there. When his mother asked him what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said, "Nothing, I just helped him cry."

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