This little girl, only 5 years old, was bounding with pure delight yesterday. She was literally jumping with joy at the thought of going through the neighborhood to collect candy on Halloween night. She was walking on air, it seemed, as she bounded for joy down the sidewalk. Sprinting in her flip flops. Unabashed joy. Pure, innocent, beautiful joy. The number of thank you’s I heard her express from the sincerest, deepest part of my heart as people dropped candy in her bucket, was priceless to my heart. She was thankful; profoundly thankful. Whether it was a bag of pretzels, jolly rancher, box of nerds, almond joy- it didn’t matter. It was just deep, deep gratitude and joy. I wish I was more like that. Just purely excited for life and profoundly grateful for each moment and whatever life hands me.
Before our Halloween trick-or-treating fun, we were at music classes. While we waited for Jacob’s recorder class to end and his piano class to begin, Natalie and I had 10 minutes together on the playground there at the Manhattan Beach preschool. As I watched this fairy in pink frolic around the playground, I told myself to hold on tight to this memory. To see her bounding with joy up and down the stairs, “pretend” spritzing cleaner all over her “brand-new restaurant grand-opening”. She ran around the playset imagining it to be her beautifully built restaurant. Her smile was radiant. Her eyes were sparkling. In her mind it was a restaurant- a just perfect restaurant and I was loving her imagination. I stood there waiting to be her customer, thankful that I could be her customer. Thankful that I had these 10 minutes to behold her joy. To relish these 10 minutes of her imaginary play. 10 minutes to be grateful for her sweet childhood.
And then she invited me to enter her restaurant. It was ready.
She had such pride and joy on her face. Her gloriously beautiful smile. It captured my heart. I told myself over and over again, whispering to myself quietly- hold onto this. Don’t forget this. Hold onto this beauty.
And she went skipping to the entrance of her restaurant. I walked in, eager to order some food. She gave me gobs and gobs of choices…….french toast, sunny side up eggs, bread in a basket, bread with nutella, carved watermelon, “protein choices”: chicken, tofu, peanut butter and jelly and “treats”- ice cream, s’mores, and honestly I can’t even remember all the other choices. There were plenty!!
I ordered. She happily went upstairs to the kitchen to cook it all. I’ve learned that when we engage in imaginary play, it’s simply not okay to order what would be realistically healthy or even possible to eat. One must order plenty. A plethora!!!! So I ordered a ton knowing full well that would give her the deepest joy. She kindly accommodated my request to have watermelon simply cut up in pieces instead of a whole carved watermelon with fruit salad inside. 🙂
And then it was time to go in to piano class.
Thank you Lord for those precious 10 minutes. Thank you for this sweet fairy- who really was an angel of joy for me today.