Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The eyes of a child

My youngest was laying on the couch, looking out the window.  She called to me. "Mom, look! There's a mama cardinal! Isn't she beautiful?"  I looked out the window to see a female cardinal perched outside.   Oh the simple things in life!  There was a delicate bird with her head crest being tousled in the breeze.  My daughter continued to watch that bird in amazement until she flew away. 

Of course then she asked if we could have a pet bird, which I'd expect from her.  She wants to keep every animal and critter she finds.  She threw a fit at the county fair because I wouldn't let her keep a grasshopper she found. 

There are times when taking a child's perspective on the world is needed.  This week is our church's Vacation Bible School (VBS) of which I am director.  For the days (weeks? months?) leading up to VBS, I was a wee bit stressed (ok majorly).  During the first two days of VBS, I encountered some bumps in the road that added to the stress.  However last night was the most amazing night at VBS that I have ever had.  What happened?

I looked at the program from the side of the children.  What was my goal for them?  What did they think about VBS?  Well, we start off with a meal.  Everyone is fed and happy.  Then we talk about our Bible story and sing a few songs before going off to centers where they're learning how to take care of God's creation, that they can make a difference in this world.  I decided to really listen to the music.  "I've got peace like a river in my soul."  Did I have that peace in my soul?  I kept singing, allowing peace to come in and did it ever!  I started to really get into the song and became more animated with the motions.  I saw those children having fun and that was all I needed!  I was there for them!  They were the reason I was there and that brought me peace.

During our closing last night, I told everyone how much I appreciated them.  The children brought me joy in their excitement.  The jr/sr high youth touched my heart as they worked on their service project, working together and radiating with pride.  The adult class was also amazing with their classroom smelling like basil after their guest speaker for the evening, a master gardener, talked to them about container gardening.  I felt like I was walking on air as I returned home last night, exhausted by so much lighter.

Not that I have to, but I do like relating these little life lessons to my life with diabetes.  So how does a child's perspective relate?  Children will often see the positive in things when we have difficulty seeing it.  Often people with diabetes (PWD), mainly adults, focus on what they can't do.  Ok, it's more the diabetes police than the PWD, but you get the idea.  When I hear, "You can't eat that!" I reply with, "I can have whatever I want in moderation."  My children help me see the joy in chocolate, ice cream, pb&j, and so much more. In the words of another PWD, "Everything in moderation, except laughter."

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