When my daughter was five she came home from pre-school one day talking about germs. Her teachers did such a good job of explaining germs to her that any time we’d ask for a sip of her juice, she would immediately pull her glass away and remind us of our germs.

Of course, though, when she’d want a sip of my drink, she would forget all about those contaminating germs.

One night she was eating a piece of chocolate cake, and I asked her for a taste. “No, Mami!” you have germs. “It’s okay,” I explained. “As long as no one is sick, we can share our food because we are a family and our germs get along. They’re like brothers and sisters. We all have different germs, but we can all live in the same house.”

“No, Mami, that’s not right,” she said. “My teacher said that my germs can only be mine because I’m a girl and my germs are pink!” “If your germs are pink, then what color germs does your papi have?” I asked.

“Green,” she said with a giggle and then proceeded to explain the germ theory to us. I had pink germs because I’m a girl like her. Her brothers had orange germs, her grandparents had white germs, and PeeWee, my oldest son’s kitten, had pink germs because she liked him.

“How do you know what color germs everyone has?” I asked. “Because my teacher tells me,” she said.

Wow, different color germs! How different the world would be if everything could be the shade of color we chose it to be. Children can make the everyday world full of wonder and mystery. They can make the most ordinary things seem magical.

Children live in the timelessness of the present. They have no worries, no responsibilities. Life is one joyful ride. They just hop on without worrying where it will take them.

They can spend hours playing with their favorite toy or swinging high into the air. They are like little mystics who can travel easily between the visible and invisible worlds. They haven’t been exposed to the boundaries of time and space. They always look for the rainbow and seldom worry about the storm. Once we’re adults it seems we spend our lives preparing for the storm. We worry about our families and sometimes about things that never come to be.

Maybe if we all just relaxed and kept an open mind, we’d find it easier to solve our problems.
As adults we can’t pretend things are what we want them to be, but sometimes we have to open ourselves up to all the possibilities that do exist. We need to view life through a wide-angle scope so that we don’t miss all that is around us.

Sometimes we get so caught up with finding a purpose to everything we do that we forget to ask ourselves why we’re doing it. Children live life with a source of wisdom and love that most of us lose in the process of getting older.

Pink was my daughter’s favorite color, so everything in her life was pink. I feel responsible for the role the color pink played in her life. After two sons, when she was born I looked forward to cute frilly pink outfits. No blue, no yellow, only pink. Maybe I overdid it.

Nevertheless, when she believed her germs were pink I let her. I knew that soon enough she’d realize that life is not always made of the shades of color we wish. Life has many different stages filled with vivid colors, some darker than others.

By Maria Luisa Salcines