Monday, December 17, 2012

Never too Old for the Young

When I was a new believer I was introduced to the concept of serving by an elder's wife at my church as she stood on the platform and announced, "We need help in Sunday school and no one is signing up. So I am sending around this clip board and if it comes back with spaces on it, I will keep sending it back until the spaces are filled"

Fear that she would find out I hadn't signed up was as good a reason as any to serve I suppose and so sign up I did.  Soon I was summarily dropped into the nursery department where I learned to be smarter than a three year old, come up with crafts, and at times shhhh them by holding my foot up to my mouth instead of my finger.

I was charmed by their equal parts play, and cuddly love.  Though I couldn't understand the whole "what do you mean you can't push a push pin into a cork. Its not that hard.--- or understand that a child of that age shouldn't have push pins in the first place...  As time went on and I began to understand development, over the years I grew to love watching the change even a year would bring in a small child.  I remember the first time I saw little Sean as he leaned against the wall with his tiny arms folded around his little legs.  "What's wrong?" I asked, expecting a pouty sputter of someone took my toy kind of drivel.  instead he said replied with two words.  "Im depressed"

Depressed?  What's a three year old have to be depressed about?

But thats the thing.  They may be little kids without the ability to push pins into cork, or time to remember to go to the bathroom.  but every now and again, there is a glimpse of who they will be and how they will feel, and how they will see the world.  Those moments grow bigger and bigger as they age, until those moments spill over their lives like water spilling from a bucket and saturating a floor.  No longer puddles, but them-- and the puddles of who they once were as a child show up in a tickle fight or two when no one least expects it.

I guess Im thinking about that in light of recent events.  The puddles of who they will be.  I didn't know any of those children.  To watch any videos would almost be pointless, because there is no context. I but I think of the children I know, who've passed through my life like a meandering stream passes a river rock.  All the little kids who've snuck into my lap to cuddle during bible story time  because they possessed me from the other kids.  All the children  who have moved on to the next class and onto the next part of their lives.  They are like those kids in Newton.  They said to someone "Don't you remember my name?" or "that's my mommy's friend" or "watch me, watch me"

For someone who doesn't like change, they are the embodiment of it-- yet somehow its okay, because they are so adorable...  I wish all change could be like that...

When Kelly was four-- back in the day when a child could still ride in the front seat of a car,  I took her someplace I can no longer remember.  As we struggled to put on her lap belt in the very old and used 1976 Dodge dart, I asked her if she was okay in the seat.  I was new to little children so what she muttered made no sense.  I apologized and said, "Im sorry Kelly, can you repeat yourself, sometimes I don't understand little kids"  And she replied "Its okay, sometimes I don't understand grown ups either" While she might have been referring to how we speak... I always ascribed to it a deeper meaning.  And as I live my life I tend to agree.

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