Over the past two months, my granddaughter, Lucy, who has loved music almost from the day she was born, has fallen in love with the 2017 Beauty and the Beast movie. Asking to watch it almost every time she sees me—she knows I most likely will acquiesce—it was my sheer delight when for Christmas, Jerry and I gave her a wifi-enabled microphone that allows her to sing along to the music from the movie. To top it off, we also gave her a Barbie-sized, Belle. No matter what Lucy is doing, when she hears the music, she stops and begins to sing. (As a tickled-pink grandmother, I just know she is a prodigy. After all, she’s only two.) You can watch a video of it here.
But it did make me stop and think. Why is it, that almost every little girl envisions herself as a princess or as a bride in white waiting for Prince Charming? Even those, at an early age who are slapped down by circumstances in their life which buries the dream so deep it seems to disappear, still at some point have had some glimmer of it.
On the flip side, why is it that almost every little boy holds the fantasy of coming in to save the day? Whether it’s Luke Skywalker bursting on the scene in the X-Wing Starfighter, or Captain America bulking up with scientifically made muscles to right the wrong and defend the weak, this scenario is ingrained deep within.
Even though we define and pocket those images as fairytales, I think, one reason why they are treasured in the hearts of children is that they actually point to the truth. And as adults, whether or not we admit it, that ideal which children hold onto, is what we genuinely ache for also. We want someone to ride in and make the world a better place. We want a kinder, gentler day-to-day. We want the pain, suffering, and tears to go away. We want death to be no more. Continue reading
Have you ever seen the sweet commercial of the overworked mom who keeps responding to her family, either their situations or their messes with the question of “What/How?” Sometimes, it’s a “what” as in, “What’s going on?” or “How did this happen?” Other times though, it is the more encouraging, “How did it go?” But written between the scenes of the never ending treadmill of the day-in, day-out exhaustion is a deep caring that goes beyond her words.¹
I remember experiencing all of that with my children and now that they are parents, I see it in their faces as they are raising their own. My granddaughter, sweet Lucy, only seven months old, is already full of gusto and a go-get-them outlook on life. She happily embraces whatever is in front of her—without even the slightest hint of a care, giving it all she’s got.
And my grandson, Henry, almost 3 is the professor. Analytical, methodical, verbal beyond belief, and oh-so-very-precise—he studies things before he jumps in. I keep telling my children, their parents, they’d better put on their running shoes now and be prepared to leave them on a good long time as they will be forever catching up to these two. Each day that I get to be with Henry or Lucy, I look with happy anticipation to see what they will do next. Watching glimpses of who they are, of who they will be, as their personalities peek through more and more, gives me such delight. And I can’t imagine saying to them one day, “For you to be happy and fulfilled, you need to find your purpose in life.”
Mordor from Lord of the Rings
The world seems to be doing back flips, almost walking upside down. Things that even ten years ago were deemed unacceptable, that would be appalling to think about, are now the norm. Without blinking an eye, we listen to the overnight news of one shooting here, another one over there. People’s lives are lost for no reason, and while on the outside, we hardly flinch, inside, I think a little of us dies right along with them when they do. Worn-out and harried with a “why even bother’ heart, we throw our helpless hands in the air, shrug our emotional shoulders and walk away in hushed defeat. Continue reading