Monday, August 2, 2010

Gift From a Child

Sometimes the obvious is right under your nose.

My day job (192 days a year) is teaching children.  Though to be perfectly honest, on my less than stellar days, I say my day job is I wrangle children.  Any teacher or mother will completely agree.

Back to task. 

Because my classroom was not immune to the Silly Band craze of 2010 (and how I am kicking myself for not thinking them up!), I saw a lot of 'em.  They were fine as long as they didn't interfere with instruction, which they mostly didn't. 

And then the year started drawing to a close.  So you get some silliness.  And my kids started doing the wildest thing.

They started giving me their silly bands. 


At first, I would return them to the child who gave them to me at the end of the day.  I mean, who wants to be the one who took a bracelet from a kid? 
And then, I had a conversation with Jamie.  I was going to hand her the bracelet her son gave me with the explanation that I was really touched by the fact he wanted to share his bands, when she looked at me and said, "No, please take it.  He adores you.  Please keep it." 
And that completely changed my outlook on the bands. 

From then on, I started keeping the bands and seeing them as the selfless acts of love and generosity that they were.  I halfway expected to get a phone call or a kid to come up and want their bracelet back, but they never did.  (And if you're accustomed to dealing with five and six year olds, you know this is nothing short of a miracle.)

They rode around in my car console for the entire summer.  They were a great source of entertainment for passengers.  For me, they were small, colorful reminders that there are people in the world who care about you.  Like the bands, they come in different shapes and sizes, and have different personalities.  And like the silly bands, they make you smile.   And they mean so much to me, because those kids gave me what was most precious to them.  And I think of how often I hold back what is most precious of mine- be it time, resources, or finances.  And I'm beginning to understand what Jesus meant when he said that the kingdom of heaven belongs to those such as these.  I long to be more like those kids.

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