Children’s Energy and Creativity – A Gift to ALL
Let me begin by saying I love kids. I became an aunt at age 7 and have pretty much been around kids all my life. I enjoy seeing all the stages they go through, how they embrace life. I love watching them laugh. I hate when they cry, even though I know that is a part of their life. I love watching them play.
In the neighborhood where I live, I would have said it is more older than younger families. So I thought.
But with the onset of the pandemic beginning in mid-March and continuing on… children transferring from in-school to on-line education; moms and dads working from home or on furlough, the children of the neighborhood have emerged.
Our home, with its many windows, sits on a round corner which allows me to see the “children traffic.” There is a family of three boys a few houses down. What brings a smile to my face is that Teddy, about 7, zips around on his two-wheeler. Ben, probably 5, follows on his two-wheeler with training wheels. And then there’s Charlie, maybe 2½, puttering in last on his no-pedal-keep-the-legs-going vehicle. Charlie just seems so intent and happy pushing himself along. No need to keep up with his big brothers. A sigh of contentment.
Winning the prize for creativity is Katie. Katie is probably about 9. She sits atop a make-shift skateboard thingamajig, tooling around the corner, almost touching the pavement, being pulled, no less, by a dog who is on the sidewalk as Suzie holds a loose rope which is attached to the pet. Suzie and Fido seem to have an understanding. Fido appears happy as I see him running along. It is not a strenuous pull. There are no hills here and Fido has the support of the wheels on the skateboard. Suzie is clearly enjoying herself and Fido seems to be having fun as they chatter along.
Some mornings I visit the nearby park where, as I settle down on a bench near the lily pond, I watch more children. The other day there was a passel of 9 – 10 year-olds on their bikes, and they were “hanging out.” The big attraction was that one of them evidently found a frog hopping in the grass. Then of course, what to do with the frog? Leaving their bikes on the grass, they headed over to the lily pond and dropped the frog into the water. They watched with laughter and excitement as the newly baptized frog acclimated to his home. That show over, they proceeded to hop on their bikes, and like a posse of hatted cowboys, followed the leader to more adventures in another area of the park. Happy to be out on their own, away from parents. It is only in their adult years that they will look back and realize how important those early friendships were. You pray their simplicity and innocence will last a few more years.
Then there is Suzie, the scooter girl, prepping for the Indy 500. The park I visit is flat in the interior but two sides of the park have graded pathways. Suzie walks her scooter up to the top of the walkway and with grandma serving as flag person, signals “GO.” Suzie comes flying down the walkway. She does this over and over as her little sister gets bored and annoyed because she is not big enough. (Apologies to all of you who were never “big enough.”)
And lastly, come the toddlers. I love toddlers. Their sense of wonder is so God-revealing. If no one else has time to appreciate God’s Creation, the toddlers do; every blade of grass, the birds, the squirrels, the water in the pond. For the toddler, all is a gift to savor and to touch. Toddlers remind us to slow down – enjoy the moment.
“Every child is an idea of God.”
~ Eberhard Arnold