Thursday, August 23, 2012

Small things can be great things

What a great day. I'm excited about tomorrow. It will be great too. Today I got to comfort a 5-year-old crying from a skinned knee, explain what callouses were to a boy who lives on the monkey bars, offer an ice cream cone to a child who lives a life where 50 cents will always be out of range, teach three alphabet letters and sounds to kids who can't read yet, and explain to a beautiful young girl wearing a feather in her hair why the Native Americans used them while hunting.

You might think that comforting a crying skinned knee child is not much, but to be able to bring a person from pain and tears to laughter inside of three minutes is wonderful. I like seeing the tears dry up and I like knowing I helped someone not be in anguish anymore. Everyone would be satisfied with something great like that.

Teaching the letter "H" to a child may not sound like much, but knowing letters A through H so far means they are on track to unlock the alphabet, which unlocks literacy, which unlocks the world.

Explaining to the boy who had blisters turning to callouses on his fingers what they were and why they were there, not only reduced his heretofore unexpressed anxiety about what was happening to his fingers, (he didn't know and was worried) but he may be an Olympian someday on the gymnastic rings, and I can say I knew him when.

The girl with the feather told me she was going to be an Indian Princess for Halloween. Including the fact about the feather was fun and while I was at it I got to tell her she is beautiful, no small thing for kids these days who are regularly mocked, bullied, ignored, neglected and all manner of things that they may be going through which I don't know about. We practiced walking down the hall regally, waving our hand in a queen-like manner. (And I got to explain the word "regal," heh. An expanded vocabulary is always good thing).

Whether they are for children or adults, small things are big things. Small things don't cost very much and everyone appreciates them. I know I do when my friends do a small, thoughtful thing for me. Imagine the effect on a child.

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