June 13, 2020
Children are such a gift. Their innocence… their wonder… their open hearts.
Today I had a Chaplain visit. Different in the midst of continued concerns of the pandemic. I set up my back yard with the hospitality I would have wished to include inside my home… all socially distanced. A table set up with Iced Tea and Hand Sanitizer. Chairs 6 feet or more apart. My desire to do what I do… make a warm, welcoming, inviting space for sharing; while keeping the new required distance.
What I did not count on was a 3-year-old child coming along for the visit. Children don’t understand “social distancing”. And me being a Mama Bear; through and through, I admit my social distancing was challenged once I saw those bright eyes.
The adults came with masks and once we got the arrangement figured out, and they were seated, we agreed, of course they could take off their masks. We were far enough apart. The Pink Princess, as I will refer to the 3-year-old… well she was another story. At first shy as she had never met me, she first hid behind her Grandma/Mommy. As the adults talked she displayed her childhood wonder and whimsey. First looking at my cats who were peering through the glass door in curiosity at the Pink Princess. She was antsy, so as I listened to the adults, the Pink Princess and I danced a dance of me asking her to find something in the garden; and she would marvel when she found:
the red little flowers
the yellow flowers
Once she identified I might be an interesting playmate, she started engaging more and more… bringing her collection of plastic animals from her busy bag over to me. First the giraffe, then the zebra, followed by tigers, elephants, a dinosaur. She would hand me an animal and then want me to interact with her animal.
She had three simple commands in our play:
The animals were to greet; they were to accompany one another; then they were to say goodbye. I engaged with her and the animals in the way she wished. Soon she was running between her family and me; brining more animals; and then, jumping into my lap. Social Distancing was out the door. A child wants to jump in my lap… so, Yes, I let her. Because in that moment, all the world’s trauma, and her own trauma, was transformed into hope. A little child shall lead them… that’s what bible tells me. The curiosity, the wonder, the innocence, the longing to connect with:
The cycle of life; according to the Pink Princess.
My prayer this night is adapted from the lyrics of “Lullaby”; sung by Take 6. I attach a link to their soothing lullaby/prayer.
Bless the children
Help relieve their need to fear.
Lord, keep the children,
Lord, keep us in your arms.
Please protect from all harm.
Please stay near us; please stay.
Bless us as we accompany and nurture the children.
Please give us new hearts.
Grant a brand new start.
Bless us, we pray.