Never Too Late to Begin Again
This may be the saddest week in United States history. In the truest sense, apocalyptic; a horrible unveiling of what and who we have become. It seems we are collectively our worst selves. We deny science and facts to the point that wearing a cloth mask is a political statement in the face of over 100,000 U.S. deaths from Covid-19.
And now, we cannot deny the underbelly of institutional racism in this country. The agony of an African American dying under the knee of a white police officer while begging to be released all the while moaning he couldn’t breathe. The incredible and devastating irony of the kneeling; black athletes were blackballed and fired from teams for kneeling during the National Anthem. And now the violent aftermath, the fires and violence... it is all too much. (Read more here)
I woke up yesterday feeling so helpless and hopeless. How do we live in a world so ugly and painful? How do we begin to repair the damage we have wrought? I don’t know, but I suspect it begins with the youngest among us. I am feeling a combination of the little children shall lead us, and it’s never too late to begin again. This feeling comes with some heartwarming and adorable substantiation from within our MDC family; life lessons from our youngest and newest members.
On May 18, Zoey Marie was born to company member Becca Beaulieu and husband Kyle. As predicted, based on beautiful big brother Liam, Zoey is a delicious baby; Becca and Kyle seem to have magical DNA. But that of course is secondary to something far more important; what they have given to Liam is an abundance of love, a gift so strong that Liam knows that there is enough love for another child. Even on harder days, when Zoey will be the interloper, deep down inside Liam will know he is loved. Look at the picture of Liam holding little Zoey. Smiling, relaxed with open body language, Liam knows his place in the world. Isn’t that what we all want? How amazing would our world be if we all realized we are connected, that there is enough love and resources to go around if we are willing to open our hearts and share what we have.
Liam already knows that love and caring is infinite. He knows that from the days he has not been his best self and his parents dug deep still able to show love, if tinged with exasperation, and those miraculous days of cuddling, reading and playing, when all is right in his world. A profound lesson, it isn’t always easy. Let’s face it, it’s hardly ever just easy, but in the end love brings the greatest results.
Not easy either, is a birthday party during a pandemic. Maybe it’s doable for older kids and adults, but a little boy turning three, impossible... what to do? My little friend JT is turning three on Wednesday. He is the little brother of company member Annie and son of company member and marketing guru Becca Brynga. Unusual circumstances demand creativity. So the drive by and honk for the birthday boy banner went up, and honking and social distance celebrations ensued. Was it perfect, a first choice dream party, of course not, but it was fun and loud; and that goes a long way with a 3 year old boy. Just another lesson of releasing the ”if only’s” and embracing the what is now, and running with it. This stay in the moment joy is so natural for young children, what happens to it?
Becca Beaulieu. sent me a picture of a barely
week old Zoey. She is lounging, and sleeping utterly content, full of milk and endorphins. I believe fully, she is aware of her utter fabulosity in her bow. Zoey’s needs right now are simple: care, food and love. Her needs are our needs, and perhaps we have made ourselves unhappy, wanting more and more things, instead of simply relishing what we have already been given. Infants are the definition of living in the moment. Toddlers are not far behind.
When I arrived at JT’s celebration, he was a little sad, he had just suffered a little fall, but when I showed up with his loyal fan Hooper, the tears stopped. When I gave him a silly little unicorn fan to stay cool in his car seat, he immediately tried to cool off Hooper. JT’s first impulse was to share. Hooper, in a minute of good doggie sense did not try to eat the unicorn. A win all around.
Watching JT yesterday gave me a lot to think about. He took a minute and contemplated the fan, and then was all in; both on cooling off and eating the candy I put in sets of three in a baggie..... (your welcome Becca :) ). Here’s my takeaway. Don’t spend too much time thinking and obsessing, go for the fun.
I think a happy and loved toddler’s life is ten percent contemplation, 20 percent frustration, (all those things that are hard to do and understand), and seventy percent joy and belly laughs. If given the chance to be themselves kids are happy. Young children choose joy. What happens? Why do we lose the joy?
It seems we unlearn the joy. We unlearn our instincts to share. We unlearn our curiosity about others and replace it with fear of the unknown or replace it with newly acquired falsehoods and prejudices. We learn new things that actively lead to unhappiness and a world that pits us against them. We protect our stuff at all costs, we keep others down to feel better about our place. We obsess until we are riddled with anxiety. Enough.
We can start again and take our cue from the littles around us. From newbie Zoey, bask in the now, and don’t be afraid to accessorize. From big brother Liam, welcome, with open arms and a smile, newness into your life; there is always enough love to go around. And finally, from birthday boy JT, steep yourself in joy. Share it with your friends. And always, always eat the chocolate.
It is never too late to begin again. The week we have had tells me it is way past time. It will be up to the young to change the world. The challenge for my young dancers, and toddler/ baby friends will be immense. Our huge task as adults will be to teach them with love and to humbly get out of their way as they begin to lead. More humility will be needed to recognize our own faults and prejudices as we try to create a new world safe for all children and adults.
It is time, it is past time. May the little children lead us and may we be wise enough to follow.