My daughter let me be her sidekick today. We broke out the environmentally friendly bag of balloons. She chose a purple one. We found her hat with the poof on top. I secured her balloon and she wanted to make extra sure that her string wouldn’t fly off her wrist so we tied it on and she clutched tightly to the string. She had heard about my “runaway balloon.” We set off down the Vantage Point hill around 2:30 p.m. It was a brilliant day after Christmas and over 50 degrees. In the sun, it felt like 60 and the joggers and walkers seemed to be loving it.
Once on the perch, I talked about the different angles of waving. I shared about waving at cars at a distance, assuring her that they could likely see us even if we couldn’t see them. I talked about each person in the car being an imporant person. I let her know that not everybody would wave, but asked her to notice what it was like when people did wave. We talked about the reasons why somebody might not wave. She offered, “Because they have somewhere they need to go fast and need to not get distracted” as one possibility.
We made up a “rainbow wave” together–arcing our hands from the left to the right–with each motion saying a different color of the rainbow with each arc: “red-orange-yellow-green-blue-purple!” What fun it was when my daughter got to wave at other children.
I don’t anticipate that my daughter will be out with me often, but this was a rare treat on a balmy day. I’ve come to understand that she is a major reason I’m being led on this call to joy. I want there to be signs of joy for children in my community. I’m grateful to her for sharing some of her joy today.
Toward the end of our time, I saw the gentleman who has twice given me the middle finger. I saw him see my daughter. I think I perceived two different things register: annoyance that she was there (something like, “Seriously?”) and a decision not to flip us off. Thank you for not doing so.
When I asked my daughter what she liked about the corner: “Everything.”
Pastor | Kittamaqundi Community Church | Columbia, Maryland