RantWoman is thinking of a certain conference theme, Walk with me, mentor elder Friend. RantWoman still smiles more than a year after a Very Young Friend offered a wonderful ministry of walking with RantWoman.
This was when RantWoman was still clerk of Hospitality committee. RantWoman had been seasoning the idea of promulgating a policy that children must be at least as tall as the counter to be in the Meeting kitchen without one of their own grownups in very close proximity.
RantWoman is all for children and all for children participating in various kinds of life and duties in kitchens. However, kitchens, particularly semi-commercial kitchens are full of sharp objects, hot things, and containers that challenge some who would move them. Furthermore, sometimes the problem is not the child, it's the grownups. RantWoman sees very badly. RantWoman had another committee member who due to age and stature also was cautious about the kinds of carafes full of hot liquids and trays full of crockery involved in social hour at our Meeting.
Much as RantWoman loves to cultivate children's love of kitchen matters in household kitchens, not every child should get mixed up in kitchen matters at Meeting. RantWoman intended to be present with these realities and to have uniform basis for evoking safety standards in an industrial kitchen. In any case, Very Young Friend was not yet as tall as the counter, but he had both his parents in tow, so what could RantWoman say?
RantWoman does not remember the beginning of the conversation; she suspects it may have involved a gentle request that Very Young Friend move because RantWoman needed to carry something and does not see well. Very Young Friend, in the matter-of-fact way children have, looked at RantWoman and said "You should get your eyes fixed." RantWoman heard both of Very Young Friend's parents gasp. RantWoman herself felt a couple tears but tried to smile and explain about things that cannot be fixed and much to be grateful for. Looking back, RantWoman wishes she had the wit to say a sincere "Thank you for noticing. Thank you for acknowledging! You're way ahead of...."