And three little people joined me.
I was sitting at the picnic table. And they joined me. I tried to not intrude in their conversation. Because eight year olds need privacy too. I appreciated the teacher keeping an eagle eye on me as well. You can’t be too safe with kids.
One of them said “you picked the wrong time to come here didn’t you?” as she indicated the large gaggle of children playing in the park. I told her and her friends the noise didn’t bother me. It’s better than sitting in an office. They all three chortled and nodded knowingly. As best as three 8 year olds could know about working in an office. But they were already committed to me and our new friendship.
They asked my name. They were pretty impressed when I told them it’s an Irish name. They then shared all of their names with me.
A teacher was approaching us. She looked over their heads at me and asked if they were bothering me. I assured her they were not. But I am pretty sure she was assuring herself that I was not bothering the children. I understood completely. Respect.
They asked me about my children. I was a little disappointed they weren’t shocked when I said I had grandchildren. But they were shocked I didn’t have a boy. I told them I have a grandson and they were comforted by that. One little girl’s middle name is the same as one of my grandchildren’s middle names. I think we bonded over that. One little girl called her friend by her initials. I told her my friend was joining me for lunch here and I always call her by her initials. I think I became her mentor on the spot.
We were well into our discussion and learning about one another when a teacher rang an old fashioned hand bell. I felt pretty good that the three of them did not seem to notice right away, so invested they were. They were busy talking, making a new friend, and being curious children. When they did finally notice they all said goodbye all over themselves as they hustled from the table, waving and dashing to get in the already formed line to return to school.
I felt, for a moment, the normalcy and goodness of life. Of childhood.
I was so very glad I sat down to lunch today.
Faith is always strengthened by children.