The joy and wonderment of youth is a gift like no other. Just when the burdens of the world begin to feel unbearably heavy, I am blessed by the children’s’ voices that help light up my life, as well as the lives of those around me.
I was working at the other house when my niece, Jody, and her 5-year-old son, Blayne, stopped by. I gave them the tour and told Blayne there was a room I especially wanted him to see. Off of a bedroom, through a closet, there is a little hidey-hole room with a door just a bit taller than he is.
I unhooked the lock, opened the tiny door, and his eyes lit up like a Christmas tree. “Wow!” he whispered. “Can we go in there?” I nodded and led him in.
Awestruck. For perhaps the first time in his little life, he was speechless. He looked around and said, “I could LIVE here!” and I laughed.
Suddenly, he spotted a box filled with rolls of wallpaper.
“What is this?” he asked.
Pretending I had never seen it before, I said, “Well, it must be hidden treasure. Let’s see!”
He pulled roll after roll out of that box, saying, “Oh my goodness! What IS this stuff?”
I thought for a minute and then said, “Would you like to have some of this hidden treasure?”
He looked up at me with the most beautiful little face, nodding his head slowly.
Share the treasure. I said, “Well, since I love you so much, I am going to share some of this hidden treasure with you, as long as you promise to share it with your little brother, Brayden.”
Blayne nodded his head enthusiastically.
I said, “Well, let’s go see the rest of the house and we’ll talk this over with your mommy.”
We looked through the rest of the upstairs, but it wasn’t long until Blayne pulled away from us, drawn back to that hidden treasure room. It took every muscle the little guy had, but he pulled that box of secret treasure maps all the way across the entire upstairs and set it on the landing near the stairs.
Oh no. His mommy didn’t seem to think it was necessary for him to take it home and my sister made a show of wanting to look inside the box, giving Blayne that momentary gasp of, “Oh no! These big people are going to take my treasure away!”
He looked to me with frantic eyes. I could read his little mind, thinking, ‘Hey, tell them to keep their mitts off – this is mine! You said so!’
So, I stepped in and saved the day, assuring him those scrolls of paper were all his to share with his little brother. We carried the box down the steps, and while the adults talked, Blayne guarded his jackpot.
My sister, Debi, told him he could unroll those scrolls and color roads and trees and houses and cows.
I said, “You can even have your own farm on there, with a big Bercaw barn and everything!”
He headed out the door with his mommy, glancing back over his shoulder, on the lookout for pirates, checking to be sure the coast was clear.
Their world. Jody later told us that before the weekend was out, Blayne and Brayden had unrolled each of those rolls and had their own farms and forests and villages and roads colored on the backs of those wallpaper rolls.
I am convinced that babies arrive in this world as miraculous gifts to help us keep getting out of bed each morning. Sharing their joy and wonder makes all of the mundane tasks of this life worth doing.
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