Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Spiderman, Tubes, and Chocolate Cake...

Last evening, I took my daughter to a classmate's birthday party. We were late (of course - it is us afterall) but not too late to allow her time to play, eat, watch her present being opened by the birthday boy, and exhaustedly climb back into the car.

Earlier, she and the other kids climbed through tubes high over the floor in the facility's play area. At the beginning, she was stuck; she wanted to get down but could only see ways of going higher toward the ceiling. The birthday boy, Skylar was asked by his mommy to show Piper how to get around. In an instant, he was with her and taking her across a swinging tube to a giant four-twist tubular slide. (Nope, I wasn't going through that to get to her!). Skylar acted like the Spiderman on his cake, saving a stranded lady. Piper, in classic kid form, raced behind him and was not stuck again, learning the secret passages as I watched through the mesh 15 feet below.

Piper is shy and unassuming. She never speaks negatively about anyone, except Daddy when he has been unfair, and then it is through tears. Otherwise everyone else in the world is either wonderful or free from comment. She finds joy in cheap HappyMeal toys, costume jewelry, fairy-sized foods, snow, sand, and animals. Piper finds joy in simple things, appreciates efforts, laughs when she thinks something is funny, and cares to lightly step around the feelings of others. I want to be Piper when I grow up.

Fact is, there were no harsh words last night. No pushing, no shoving, no angry tones. Parents intervened when a 'thank you' was omitted, but otherwise, these were angelic children. Part of this I have to believe is that these kids are in a small class of 14 together and are used to two teachers. They are given assignments like 'give a gift that doesn't cost anything' at Christmastime and 'learn to wait for others to finish eating before leaving the table' at lunch. My daughter attends a Parents Day Out program that is run like a preschool for two half days a week. I feel that this is such a fortunate thing for Piper.

She is in environments all the time where she is loved. She told me on the way home last night about a 'helper' (parent I guess) who assists at school sometimes named Kim. Piper told me, "She loves kids; she loves us." Piper exists where even at school she is reminded that she is loved.

In a world of anger, greed, need, and want, my daughter seems to feel and understand care, love, kindness, and cooperation. No superhero can provide that. That is straight from God and I feel so fortunate about that for her. Chocolate cake always tastes better and play areas are always more fun when you feel the love around you and God within you.

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