In the last four years or so of being a mother (read under-glorified cleaner, cook, personal hygeine supervisor, language and motor skills tutor, and chauffeuse), I've come to believe that the difference between adults and children is not just a matter of quantity - number of years, shoe size, number of brain cells irrevocably damaged by caffeine, alcohol, Celebrity Big Brother... (strike through as appropriate) - but also of quality. If Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus, children are from the Planet Zarquon, or somewhere thereabouts.
And yes, they come from Planet Zarquon trailing clouds of glory, as Wordsworth so beautifully put it. The glory is in the way they see things differently from we adults. The way they see the magic in everything, the magic and the potential. Us and Them is a series of quotes from the little Zarquonites in our midst that help us as adults see another side to the story.
So here is Us and Them No. 1 :
On a walk along Cannobio's lakeside marina in the Sunday afternoon sunshine, Mama spots a couple of plastic bottles bobbing about in the water, and she says in a pedagogical kind of way, "Ugh, trash!".
AJ replies, "But, Mama, maybe there's a message in one of them"...