I haven’t talked about this in ages, which was just in passing when I said it, but I teach Sunday school. Crazy right? Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, because my mom used to teach and she started the Children’s Liturgy program at our church. (when the kids go hear the readings on their level while the grownups listen to the readings in the church)
Anyway, this Sunday we talked about the Beatitudes. Basically it’s the way to be blessings and be happy.
To keep the kids busy, they’re in kinder and there’s only so much talking we can do before they space out–think like 5 minutes–we do crafts. Since we talked about the Beatitudes, you can guess what we did. Beeeee-atitudes. Bee a blessing. Bee happy.
It was a fun little craft and even though most of our class ends up a fun arts and craft session, I hope that drilling our concept in while we work on the project gets them to take it with them. But it stuck with me too.
We talked about the blessings all around us. Have you ever really stopped to think about your blessings? Seriously. Your house, your clothes, your heat, your vehicle, your job (or not, if you get to stay home), the soap you washed your face with. EVERYTHING. We often forget about every little thing till we see someone without. Till our kids call it out and we have to explain why the man on the corner is holding the sign and why doesn’t he have a job? Till we talk to our kids about why no one at school says hi to the janitors or knows them by name, but how we do.
We talked about how we could be blessings to others. Giving a hug, cleaning our room, writing a note.
Ava and I went to get groceries together on Sunday afternoon. Usual chore, nothing extraordinary about it. Until she asked if we could get Gma a balloon.
Gma is my mom, if you’re new here. I lost her to cancer 9 years this year. Gah, it’s jarring to say that. Wow. Sometimes we send up a balloon to her just to say hi, and our local grocery store used to have free balloons so we’d grab one and go on our way. Ava wanted to get one to say Happy Valentines Day.
We’re always in a rush and I usually say no. It’s usually after work, it’s night time. It’s raining. It’s something or something or something else. Allie never understands and she just gets upset that we’ve let go of the balloon. Even though neither of them knew her, for some reason I’ve done a better job of teaching Ava about Gma. Allie knows, and sometimes she surprises me with the things she says about her. But it’s not the same.
Today I said yes, we could get a balloon. She picked the balloon thoughtfully from the bunch. We walked to the car on that warm afternoon and she told me we had to be sure we weren’t near a tree. We had to be sure it got to her.
I always take a pic of her when she does this. For some reason I just have to. It’s just a special thing for us.
As she let it go, we both watched as it slowly climbed up, up, and away. The groceries waited and we gazed with awe as it just seemed to float up with purpose till it magically disappeared. Not into a tree, or behind a building, but just into the clouds. She knew that it would get to her. She knew that she’d get it and be so happy.
I love that she believes. I love that she loves her.
I left with a smile and thanked her for asking me to send up this reminder.
She was my blessing that regular old Sunday afternoon, and she didn’t even know it.