Two men have helped me reflect--and reflect theologically--on children of late: G. K. Chesterton and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The quote from Chesterton below identifies a commonality between children's and God's capacities for repetition. (Contra modernism, the regularity of the universe's seasons and cycles might not argue against a Creator, but for one.) The poem from Longfellow, entitled "Children," celebrates the unchanneled, unshaped innocence of children which makes them "living poems" and the rest of us "dead." Read, remember, reclaim, and rejoice.
A child kicks his legs rhythmically through excess, not absence, of life. Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. they always say, "do it again"; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. it is possible that God says every morning, "Do it again" to the sun; and every evening, "dot it again" to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daises alike; it may be that God makes all daises alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we. The repetition in Nature may not be a mere recurrence; it may be a theatrical encore. (Chesterton, "Orthodoxy," 92)
Come to me, O ye children!
For I hear you at your play,
And the questions that perplexed me
Have vanished quite away.
Ye open the eastern windows,
That look towards the sun,
Where thoughts are singing swallows
And the brooks of morning run.
In your hearts are the birds and the sunshine,
In your thoughts the brooklet's flow,
But in mine is the wind of Autumn
And the first fall of the snow.
Ah! what would the world be to us
If the children were no more?
We should dread the desert behind us
Worse than the dark before.
What the leaves are to the forest,
With light and air for food,
Ere their sweet and tender juices
Have been hardened into wood, --
That to the world are children;
Through them it feels the glow
Of a brighter and sunnier climate
Than reaches the trunks below.
Come to me, O ye children!
And whisper in my ear
What the birds and the winds are singing
In your sunny atmosphere.
For what are all our contrivings,
And the wisdom of our books,
When compared with your caresses,
And the gladness of your looks?
Ye are better than all the ballads
That ever were sung or said;
For ye are living poems,
And all the rest are dead.
(Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, "Children")