My husband and I had the chance to perform for SouthSider Studio’s entry in the 711 Theater Project Friday night. One of our props was a lighted green lantern thingy attached to a headband (my husband had a “red” one too). I was a good sport and wore my thingy like I was directed even though I wasn’t exactly a fan of the prop. After our performance, a boy (7 or 8 I’d guess) looked up at me and said “I wish I could have one of those”. To which I replied, “Do you want mine?”. His face lit up and he beamed with pride wearing the same prop I’d perceived as dorky. I find out later his father had told him earlier he couldn’t have it because it was part of the play. The boy didn’t command me to give him the object. He didn’t expect he’d get it. He made a wish and the wish came true.
The next day, I was at a pot luck. While all the adults were sitting around talking and mindlessly eating, the kids were running around chasing each other. They ate a little too but were mostly concerned with moving around the yard. I asked to join in. The children welcomed me and soon I was the “monster” they were fleeing from as quickly as they could. It wasn’t long before they established a “base” where they were “safe”. There was no board meeting to decide what the next action would be. There was no vote cast as to what the rules should be. I wasn’t excluded because I didn’t meet the height/weight/gender/race requirement. Someone had an idea, the best one at the time, and all went with it. We played some form of chasing game for an hour or more! When I plopped into bed that night, I felt more tired than after running 20K for Dam to Dam the week before. Yet, I had no worry about distance covered or calories burned, I was just having fun.
I was reminded of when Jesus said something like ‘I tell you the truth. Unless you change and become like little children, you will never inherit the kingdom of heaven’. (Matthew 18:3, I looked it up with a little help from Google)
Heaven to me is a place of utter peace. No violence, no unrest, just presence.
Children don’t have enough experience to know what’s a “reasonable” request and what isn’t. They haven’t been burned enough times to feel hopeless. They just show up. They wish… sometimes those wishes come true and sometimes they don’t but they don’t close themselves off to possibilites just because something didn’t work out. Unless some adult who doesn’t know any better has crushed their spirit, they don’t have thoughts like “I don’t deserve that” to keep them from asking for what they want. They just ask with open hearts.
So, next time you think a kid is asking for too much and being too “wound up”, try letting yourself go a little bit. Yes, there are times they answer will be “no” and heartbreak is part of life but don’t let those realities crush your spirit. Don’t lose hope.
Keep asking…keep working in the direction of your dreams, open to possibilites. Your wishes can come true.
From my heart to yours,
Thanks for reading.