27 May 2008

The Courage of Children

Sometimes I look back on my life and think about what a waste of time it was for me to be so shy for so long. What good did it do me? It's not like it got me out of any work, it just made those assignments more painful. Instead of working extra hard on a project, I'd just spend that energy dreading the presentation. I eventually grew out of it (mostly), so if I was gonna get over it anyway, why did I waste my time fighting it?

Yesterday, my nephews showed me what I missed out on as a child. We went to our local cemetery's Memorial Day Ceremony, and I let one of my nephews use my camera to take pictures. What kids don't love using real cameras? This one took and amazing picture of my niece. It is SO cute!!! But that's a topic for another blog. This is about the things they do in their day to day life that I'd never do. While we walked up and stood in the back, my nephew took my camera and walked right up to the front row of seats. He just sat there in the middle of a row of old men. It was adorable to see. (too bad he had my camera so I couldn't get a picture!) Then a few minutes later, he'd disappeared. We scanned the crowd looking for this little man, a little concerned, but knowing that he's been raised to hold his own if someone were to mess with him. Eventually we found him--standing past the line of spectators, with a real photographer. I thought for a moment of sending one of the other kids to bring him back behind the invisible line and in to spectator land, but thought against it. That photographer almost tripped over him as he sat on the floor, but instead simply patted my nephew's head and continued looking for his photo-op.

A few minutes later, another nephew (older brother to the above mentioned nephew) approached me and asked if my phone had a camera on it. It does, so he took it and ran away. I watched as he ran straight to the gun line who were hiding behind a van, awaiting their turn to participate in the shows 21 gun salute. All I could see were their feet as my nephew disappeared behind the van. The feet I'd seen clumped together and the casually waited, soon formed a line as they stood at attention and posed for my nephew's camera. Unfortunately, my phone doesn't automatically save pictures (it just prompts you to press the "save" or "erase" button) and the flip phone was flipped closed before the picture was saved.
I'm amazed that these children were uninhibited in their lives enough to see something they wanted and, respectfully, get it. I'm amazed that these people so willingly allowed the children to not only be involved in their day, but even altered their activities though to include them. Children truly do have a magic power, and when raised well, they can do anything.


tootie said...

That is so true. We can probably all take a lesson from these kids!

Mr. Hall said...