And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them, and said, "Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. [Matthew 18:2-3 RSV]
On Wednesday I observed the qualities that I believe Christ has in mind when he made this statement to his disciples--and for the benefit of bystanders. I was at the home of the family for which I nanny and had an enchanted day!
The weather here in Richmond, VA has been glorious and the children love to be outside so as soon as breakfast was over and we managed to get everyone dressed, the boys were at the door and ready to go outside! The children I care for include a 3.5 year old girl and her twin 20-month old brothers.
The boys made many laps up and down the driveway with their push toys or chasing their sister on her bike. I have to chuckle as I watch her, look of determination and sheer delight on her face, certain she will take off and fly any moment and she pedals her tricycle up and down the driveway.
This particular day one of the boys was pushing/playing with/loading and unloading a plastic shopping cart, the other twin was pushing the umbrella stroller wherever he could make it go. Sister took a break from her travels and all three happened to converge in the same place in the middle of the driveway. The boys like to run into their sister with whatever they happen to be pushing and the stroller and shopping cart crashed into each other and made a b-line for the bike.
I expected much drama and screaming. Instead the three of them spent the next 15 minutes attemping to connect the three 'vehicles' into some type of futuristic mode of transportation. That's my take on it anyway. The boys tired of the endeavor and moved on to other adventures but their sister figured it all out and moved from bike to stroller (which was on it's side but attached to the bike handles) and then got up and rearranged her vessel to suit her imagination.
The boys watched leaves floating down like snowflakes and ran to catch them. Then we discovered the sidewalk chalk had gotten wet--and had changed color! What fun to have six "new" pieces of chalk and learn a very basic science lesson.
I know these sound like simple, everyday events. But I was captivated as I watched these children. All three were in the same mode--their little minds took a giant leap all on the same day. The learning and exploring continued inside waiting for lunch, then after nap time on the back porch. The sky was blue, scattered with whispy clouds and that day in my life the earth spun at exactly the right angle and speed. Small blessings. . .
For a few hours I witnessed the wonder of being a child in full swing--times 3!