Angels on the Playground

photo credit

I asked a young boy to tell me a story about his school day. He told me about a classmate biting him during recess. I was aghast! Biting! That still happens in grade school. His reaction to it was pretty remarkable. He explained that he felt compassion towards his classmate for being so angry and not knowing how to express it.

Really? He’s eight. He didn’t tattle, he didn’t whine or blame. I asked him what he did afterwards, he said I got up and kept playing.

I remember the first time that I realized that didn’t have to let other people have control over how I felt. Fifth grade. I was in some sort of spat with a neighborhood brat, and this little hell spawn came up and kicked me right in the shin. I was locked into one of those horrible desks you could never get out of, the kind that was all one piece with the downstairs book apartment underneath the seat. I had to take it or fall out sideways, equally as painful and awkward. I am positive I wasn’t as understanding as this kid. I’m pretty sure I was in the hallway for retaliating.

This kid’s experience happened during a game of tag. His story sparked this memory.

As a mother I wasn’t sure how to react to his story. At first, I was appalled. Then I sort of digested it and I went back and reviewed what he said. He showed humility to his friend. Can I say the same? As an adult when someone is a total nightmare, don’t I want to tell them how they affect me? I sure do! But maybe just maybe I should look deeper into pain.

There’s a lot of pain today in our country. I’m looking towards the angels, like this little kid, who can take everyone’s pain and dust themselves off, and get back out there to forgive someone else of their misunderstood anger.