Monday, December 7, 2009

What would you do with $1000?

My favorite part of the job is when I find myself in the kitchen or around the table with just a few of the kids. It's these smaller group discussions that warm my heart.

Today was one of those days, and around a table of celery sticks and peanut butter I asked what they would buy with $1000.

Makayla said she would "buy something for my mother...maybe a diamond necklace and a diamond ring."

Ju'wanne said he'd "buy a five bedroom townhome for the family."

Godwin said he'd buy "a PS2, a game cube, a Nintendo Wii, a PSP, two big screen HD TVs, DVD players for me and all my friends..."
..."but I'm only giving you $1000, Godwin. You may have to pick only a few of those things."
"Shoot, I'd shop on Black Friday!"


Sunday, December 6, 2009

"A person's a person no matter how small."

My father reminds me often that justice begins by listening to children; after all, Jesus came to earth as a child. As of late, Dr. Seuss reminded me of the same.

If you haven't seen Horton Hears a Who! yet, get on it. This movie would be great for any type of theology paper, the biblical references are abounding! Mrs. Kangaroo calls Horton, our elephant hero, silly and dangerous for believing that life exists on this small speck of dust on a flower because "if you can't see it or hear it, it doesn't exist". In the end, Mrs. Kangaroo's small son hears the townspeople of Whoville and their world is saved. A child hears the cries of people and saves an entire world (sound familiar?).

As an, a grown, a responsible person(?) it gets very easy for me to believe that my education, my experience, my knowledge makes for the best understanding of this world we live in. It's easy to get lost in finding the answers from the experts, the books, the sermons. To be clear, I do believe it's our elderly who have all the answers and I, of course, appreciate a good sermon, but we cannot deny the power of children.

If you know me well, you know that my "motherly instincts" aren't necessarily at the top of my strengths. With that, I'm as surprised as anyone that I find myself surrounded by children everyday now. And while my primary purpose is to help with homework, teach manners and commitment, and encourage service and kindness, I can't help but recognize the lessons I'm getting each day.

My short list:
Dancing to Michael Jackson makes one very happy.
A game of kick ball creates healthy competition as long as everyone gets to play and it ends in a tie.
A stick of gum offered by a friend will stop tears.
Sharing your vending machine loot is the best way to make friends.
It's cool to write letters to Santa, and you must sing Hark the herald angels sing/Glory to the newborn king! super loud while spinning in circles. be continued.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Little things.

Today I got a free lunch from Jimmy John's.
I played kickball outside (although it was chilly) and convinced the kids we ended with a tie.
Successfully entertained children by making lemonade and putting together a 500 piece puzzle of a lighthouse.
Found myself at an open-mic night listening to the most amazing rap from teenagers in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood.
Listened to my alma-mater dominate our rivals in basketball and pull out an amazing volleyball win.
Had a long overdue phone conversation with one of my dearest friends.
Sometimes the little things add up to make one hell of a good day.