‘Miss, did you know that a moth is just an old butterfly?”
I laughed out loud. “I can see why you’d think that.”
“AND you don’t have to be afraid of them. They don’t have teeth because they are old.”
“What’s in your tummy?”
“What’s in my tummy?”
“Baby. Baby swimming. Hi baby, hello, hi.” R tries to pull up my shirt and look into my belly button because this is a logical way to see a baby. “Baby swimming.”
“It is time for bed now. It is time to say goodnight to baby.”
“Night night baby.” R sings the whole song before he closes his eyes.
A unwraps the purple hippo we bought for her birthday but she is more interested in the bows and wrapping paper. Then we blow up the hippo and her eyes swell. She stretches out her arm and I can almost hear her words “please, please, please.” She sits on top of the hippo with its buckteeth and beams with joy. “Bounce, bounce, bounce,” says her Mom.
“Class, now that you have heard the story we are going to act it out, ok?” The children’s heads nod. “You will have to pick a character.”
L picks to be the Dingo, which is the largest role in the play. Every one else rushes to choose their character.
“Action!” shouts the director.
Dingo steals the wombat and then the Dingo has her first line. L looks to the teacher to see what to do.
“Repeat after me, the teacher says. ‘I am going to cook wombat stew.’” The class laughs.
L covers her face. “I really don’t like when people laugh at me. It makes me embarrassed and I feel sad.”
“Honey, we aren’t laughing at you. We are laughing because you did such a good job begin the Dingo and he is funny. I understand how you could feel that way though.”
I get to spend my days around children. They see the world in a way that no one else can and they remind us about the meaning behind the little, insignificant parts of life. These smaller details might actually be more important than the “lives” we work so hard for every day. You see, I can wrap my head into theology or dense literature but sometimes if I just listen to the magic that surrounds children’s minds I learn a much better lesson. Maybe the system is wrong and children should be teaching us.
Remember the scene in hook where Robin Williams starts to feel the food he’s pretending to eat? It has been there all along but he hasn’t known what to do to conjure it up. In the new Pete’s Dragon, the forest ranger never saw the magic in the woods even though she’d spent her whole life there. She just wrote it off as impossible or improbable that something bigger, larger, wiser and magical could be all around her every single day. Every day it is. Every day we live in the presence of a big, wise, magical creator and this world that was created and we miss it. Not only do we miss it, we forget that we desperately need the relationship.
“Are you not thirsty?” said the Lion.
“I am dying of thirst,” said Jill.
“Then drink,” said the Lion.
“May I — could I — would you mind going away while I do?” said Jill.
The Lion answered this only by a look and a very low growl. And as Jill gazed at its motionless bulk, she realized that she might as well have asked the whole mountain to move aside for her convenience.
The delicious rippling noise of the stream was driving her nearly frantic.
“Will you promise not to — do anything to me, if I do come?” said Jill.
“I make no promise,” said the Lion.
Jill was so thirsty now that, without noticing it, she had come a step nearer.
“Do you eat girls?” she said.
“I have swallowed up girls and boys, women and men, kings and emperors, cities and realms,” said the Lion. It didn’t say this as if it were boasting, nor as if it were sorry, nor as if it were angry. It just said it.
“I daren’t come and drink,” said Jill.
“Then you will die of thirst,” said the Lion.
“Oh dear!” said Jill, coming another step nearer. “I suppose I must go and look for another stream then.”
“There is no other stream,” said the Lion.” ― C.S. Lewis, The Silver Chair