Thursday, February 11, 2016

Tethered To The Past

I spent time with both our kindergarten and third graders today at WCS, preparing for our Honduras/ Haiti project. There is so much to learn from little ones as this entry from March 26, 2012 shows!

We are Stanford Testing this week at WCS so our schedules are way off normal. After meeting first period, we tested for three hours, and then picked back up with second through fifth periods with lunch mixed in. I normally eat lunch at 11 AM with our elementary kids but today, my eating time came at 12:31 PM with the high school students. As there was no way to beat the much larger big kid crowd to the food, I wandered outside to let the lines thin out. There in our enclosed, shaded artificial turf playground were our second graders enjoying recess. I probably know this bunch better than our other lower school classes as Katy Shirley, their teacher, works with me in basketball so I'm in and out of her classroom. About six or seven of them were gathered around the tetherball pole and I was quickly challenged to a match. Not wanting to break playground etiquette, I waited in line after accepting the gauntlet from Hayden. She's no ordinary eight year old. It seems like I've known her since her infancy, through basketball camp and her older sisters, Devin and Haley. Hayden considers herself the de facto camp director, much to the delight of myself and Russell Carr, the actual director, and much to the dismay of  the aforementioned older sisters who work as coaches. Hayden and her little sister, Piper, often serenade the campers and staff with the latest Taylor Swift offerings, again much to the chagrin of Devin and Haley. As we waited our turn early this afternoon, Hayden told me about the recent funeral of her great grandmother, somewhere she said in a small Texas village. And then it was our turn. I was competitive for a time but in the end, her prowess overcame my slight height and weight advantage. We parted as friends and I hope there will be a rematch. All I know is that lunch would have tasted better with a Coach Hawley triumph.

I don't think I would be mistaken if I told you the last time I played tetherball was on the blacktop playground of Willard School in York, Nebraska when I was in kindergarten through third grade. (After third grade, we started shooting basketball at lunch and recess, leading to my NBA career!) Do you know what impressed me today as I stood with those second graders? Tetherball hasn't changed since I was a little boy. The equipment is simple, the rules are simple, and little kids can enforce their own rules. It does not require the intervention of grownups who in my opinion have taken the fun out  of fun and games for this generation. Kids get along just fine if you let them be. Did you see the story about the annual Easter Egg Hunt canceled in Colorado Springs this year due to parents who crossed borders into the children only area, bent on helping their child find an egg and causing the event to end in only seconds? I don't have kids but all I can say is WOW! What blew me away the most was a man who justified parental interference, saying he would make certain his child had, and I quote, an even edge. I'm not sure that's correct English but I do know that an adult versus a child is not even. (Hayden proved that today!) Jesus in confronting the religious leaders stated that, ".. wisdom is proved right by all her children.” (Luke 7:35) Often, little children need us but sometimes they get along just fine in our absence. All they need is a pole, a yellow ball on a rope, and some space. Good job, Hayden!

Applicable quote of the day, # 1:
"The more we shelter children from every disappointment, the more devastating future disappointments will be."
Fred Gosman

Applicable quote of the day, # 2:
Children's games are hardly games. Children are never more serious than when they play."

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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