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The world looks different to children, Pamela Loxley Drake writes. How can it not?

COURTESY PHOTO - Pamela Loxley DrakeThe door opened and the gaping hole filled me with fear and trepidation.

I had no choice. I had to enter.

OK, it was the first time I was going to get onto that large yellow bus filled with already-squealing children. The same bus that had picked up my sister for the years before me. It took them away and returned them perhaps a little better for the experience.

Now it was my turn.

I tried to get my photographer husband to do a series of pictures on "the view from kneecaps" or '"the view from the eyes of little people" — indeed, a view that all of us fail to keep in mind as our children grow. The view we forget as we ourselves grow into adulthood.

This fact was lost on me when raising my own children. I was too tired and too busy to stop and realize the "view."

As with many things, we adults fail to put ourselves into the shoes of our littles. Our expectations are from a lofty view, from our wider world, from our own experiences — the view we fail to remember is different for children.

When the twins came into being, I have been, of course, older and more relaxed in my view of life. I noticed that we had expectations of littles forgetting that they were looking at "kneecaps." When going to the table for a meal, the kids were looking at the underside of the table while we looked at the top. When we walked down a path, the kids saw the bugs and underside of leaves on trees, while we looked at the tops of leaves and a view ahead of us as to what was to come.

Each year when school begins, my thoughts turn to the nerves, excitement and trepidation that many students feel. Children stepping into the unknown away from home. I would hope we realize what it was like to look at "kneecaps."

Perhaps we should give parents a class on looking at the underside of things. Maybe we should lie on the floor and discover the world of the toddler.

Realize that when a child walks with a parent through a store, their view is very different. There isn't much to see except for legs, tables, displays at their eye level and lots of floor. No wonder they go for something bright and exciting instead of quietly walking with their parent.

No matter how old we get, we all have those "open school bus door" moments. At least as adults, we have a better view and more life experience. For children of all ages, they are just learning.

Maybe someday I will talk my husband into capturing a small world in photos. Getting his 6-foot-1 frame under leaves and under tables might be an effort, but I think well worth it.

Perhaps we all need to lie on the floor of our homes or in the forest and just see what our littles see. Maybe we need to be more ensconced in the world of our teens, not just teaching them about our world, our music, our clothing, our hair color.

As my father taught me: Look under the leaves of the ginger plant to see the beauty hidden there.

Pamela Loxley Drake is a Beaverton resident and self-described lifelong "farm girl." You can contact her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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