Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Like a child

The weather forecast was on a constant loop, and all the students had visions of a snow day dancing in their heads.  I was grumpy at the thought.  Sure, a day curled up in a warm house with a book and hot chocolate sounds perfectly delightful, but the reality of a snow day for me means scraping off my car, bundling up, braving the roads, and going in to work (though perhaps late).  But I'll take it over the alternative, I thought, as I snuck off, feeling guilty at the laundry, cold snow play, cleaning up,  baths, snacks, and endless entertainment that John would manage and provide for two restless kids stuck at home.  The kids, of course, woke up at 6:00am, not getting the memo that snow days are for sleeping in.  By the time I was leaving for work, they were already bundled in multiple layers and fruitlessly trying to make snow angels in the mostly icy snow.  As I shuffled to my car, Brady slapped my arm and yelled, "Tag, mom, you're it!" and tore off through the front yard.  I paused for a second.  I so hate the snow.  But then he looked back with a grin to see if I was following him, and I couldn't resist.  I ran after him, grateful for my boots, and for the laughter of Maryn, who joined in the fun.  I felt the exhilaration of running in the cold, of child's play, and of bringing and receiving simple delight.  It was an easy cure for the grumpiness that waking up had brought.

Yesterday, I attended the funeral of a friend.  He had been a resident of the group home where I had worked for over eight years before my calling to Hollins.  He lived with others in a home for developmentally disabled adults, who had become like a family along with the staff that so lovingly cared for them.  I never saw Teddy when I wasn't met with an exuberant "Hey!", a full embrace, and a kiss.  Ted reminded me some of my grandfather as he was approaching senior adulthood, and yet he had the heart of a child, full of wonder, love, and excitement.  He was an honorary deputy sheriff for our local police department and loved nothing more than to wear his badge and carry a walkie talkie.  He would station himself at the end of his home's driveway on "patrol", waving to administrative staff as they left their shifts each day at 4:30, ready to give tickets to anyone not properly following the rules.  The funeral was full of lovely remembrances, catching up with old friends, laughter, and Elvis songs.  It was a fitting tribute to one who reminded us of the importance of childlike faith and love.

I'm grateful for the many reminders others show me of how growing up is not necessarily about growing old.

“When I grew up I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness 
and the desire to be very grown up”. ~ C.S. Lewis

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