Saturday, December 12, 2015

Reflections from a 6th Dance Chaperone

6th graders come in all shapes and sizes, colors and varying degrees of confidence and style.

Some look as young as 3rd graders and are about as mature. Some could easily be in high school and show that maturity, too. 

There's always a "player", even if he's only 12. 

Requesting songs is always fun.

Everyone could have worn a LITTLE more deodorant.

Everyone likes to dance to familiar songs that have familiar moves. 

More walking around in clumps happens than actual dancing.

When a couple is brave enough to slow dance during a slow song, their friends form a circle around them and spotlight them with their phone lights. 

Lots of videotaping happens. Quality just CAN'T be great in the dark to the flash of laser lights.

Some girls really like to dance and are great. Others just like to do ballet moves. Or herkies (sp?)

More than a couple of songs sounded suspiciously like 70s disco and 70s TV theme songs. 

Most of these kids have better phones than most of my friends.  

The majority of the boys are like puppies: playing tag, chasing and running. At least no one piddled on the floor. 

Seeing my 6th grader in the context of a group of other 6th graders is reassuring & comforting, especially since I tend to worry about mine in isolation. This reminds me that she is doing JUST FINE. 

My friend, Denise Morris is a bada** chaperone. I think she even scared a few of the other newbie chaperones into behaving. 

Boys still cry when they get their feelings hurt. And girls know how to cheer them up. 

Most of all I was amazed by these unique bundles of potential and nervousness and hormones, who share the same desire we all have, the desire to belong. Bless each one.  

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

A New Life for Donkey

Our home has a reputation for animal rescues (13 kittens found, fostered and adopted in 2013, "The Year of the Kittens") and we've extended that hospitality to people on occasion, but I didn't realize it included stuffed animals until yesterday. Saturday, my 11 year old daughter Chloe found the sad evidence that the puppies had gotten her beloved stuffed donkey from camp and given it the usual canine vampire treatment: chew off the button eyes, creating a hole to pull out all the stuffing (all over the house), leaving simply a lifeless skin. Truth be told, I had noticed the latest "victim" earlier in the week, but wasn't too concerned. She only has 1262 other stuffed animals; she wouldn't even notice this one. Ahhhh, but there I was mistaken. As she cried angry tears, furious at Gonzo for eating the mascot of his own namesake, I remembered that this one was special and I felt bad. But as the drama tornado gained velocity, and before the real damage started, Chloe was "invited" to her room to chill out. And I got back to watching my movie.

After some time, I noticed Chloe was engaging in some top secret activity. If I were in Mama Sleuth mode, I would have put together the clues from her questions like, "Mooooom, do you know where my sewing kit is?" And Mooooom, where are the buttons?"

But I wasn't prepared for her reveal. Giddy with excitement, from behind her back she pulled out the little donkey, brought back to life.  She had re-stuffed the little guy, sewn his little body back together, and replaced his right eye with a button, waaaay cuter than the original eye. But the best part was the eye patch on the left eye. Apparently that hole was too big, so donkey was just going to have to live with one better-than-before eye. I squealed with delight as she showed me and she beamed with pride over her good work. But her care for donkey did not end there. After all, he had been through quite a trauma and she needed to keep him close to make sure he was ok. While she ate dinner, she made sure he got sustenance, too. Of course he couldn't be expected to walk after such an injury, so thankfully she still had that baby doll stroller. And he needed a safe, comfy place to sleep, under the watchful eye of his concerned mama! 

Chloe has once again humbled me.  What I had discarded as beyond ruined, she saw as fixable. With a little time and attention, she restored her beloved donkey, in some ways literally better than before. How much more does our Heavenly Father love us? When we feel beyond ruined, God can restore us. What hope, what grace! A reminder through the eyes of an 11 year old child of God.