Old Souls

Old souls tend to think a lot … about everything. Their ability to reflect and learn from their actions and those of others is their greatest teacher in life. One reason why old souls feel so old at heart is because they have learned so many lessons through their own thought processes, and possess so much insight into life situations from their ability to quietly and carefully observe what if going on around them. – Aletheia Luna

I was one, I bore one and I’m making cookies with a four year old who is one. Her older brothers have been fighting and been sent outside to release some pent up energy. I’m keeping an eye on a neighbor’s grandchildren and Little Miss and I have become great friends. She, with the wisdom of the ages, informed me that they were fighting for attention and if we ignored them they’d stop. She, of course, was right. Once outside, they ignored each other and kicking what remained of the snow became more entertaining than kicking each other. I’d planned to make sugar cookies so the kids could decorate them, but mini-mom thought crackers were a better idea because they had no sugar. Better still was her observation after her grandmother dropped them off with me. “Grandma’s face is mad.” Grandma’s face looked fine to me, but then Little Miss knows her better than I do and it was unusual for my neighbor to farm out any of her time with the children. While many of the traits this little one displays are those seen is all first born children, she is the baby of the family and that makes her a bit of an anomaly. Her family considers her to be an old soul.

How we define an “old soul” depends on our own beliefs and experiences. Those who believe in reincarnation believe that children identified as “old souls” have experienced prior lives and retained some memory of them. While I don’t believe in reincarnation or recycled souls, I do believe that some children are born with a heightened sensitivity and intuitive ability that’s usually seen in those who are much older. It’s important to point out that the concept of old souls is not recognized in modern psychology. That being said, it’s impossible to deny that there are children who whose levels of maturity, intelligence and sensitivity are higher than others of their age. They are classified as “early people.” If their behavior could be reduced to a single word “precocious” would be a good descriptor. The key to their precocity hasn’t yet been revealed, but it’s a fair bet to suggest that they share characteristics of temperament and personality that make them especially aware of what goes on around them.

The “old soul” helping me make crackers reminded me of one of my own children. My first born, who weighed all of 3 pounds at birth, had to deal with myriad health issues following her birth. Among them was an a form of asthma that required preventive shots twice a week. The allergist’s office was always full of crying children and the tears usually came in domino fashion. If one started to cry it was only a matter of time before they all were in tears. When she was about 3 years old, my daughter, out of the blue mind you, didn’t cry when it was her turn for an injection. Instead she grabbed my hand, closed her eyes and said “ouch” when the nurse gave her the shot. She became an instant celebrity. I talked to her about it on our train ride home. “It’s scary when I get sick and it’s not scary when I get the shots.” She had those damn shots for another 2 years and she never cried again.

Raising an “old soul” is no different than raising any other child, but they are reflective thinkers and see more than other children do. They have lots of questions and they need near immediate answers. They have a keen sense of right and wrong and they make judgments early on. Having raised an “old soul” I can tell you that while many of their comments are hilarious, they are not always age appropriate. They speak their minds and are prone to comment, favorably or not, on adult behavior, at absolutely the worst possible time. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve asked if we could find a better way to say this or that, or to point out how hurtful words can be. They need guidance and direction as all children do, but they need lots of room to process what they hear and see. It goes without saying that they can be very persuasive. I did, after all, make crackers rather than cookies.

old soul twoOld souls may be the ones who’ve been around the block a few times, but they’re also the ones who know how vastly beautiful that block is; they’re the one’s who still stop to smell the roses; and they always stop to drink in every small moment of life.” – Robert Clancy

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