What is it about children that make us come out of our norms? I know it's un-American of me but I've never been a huge fan of Sesame Street. On another topic, I love to sing but it's a stretch and a mile to get me to sing in front of anyone else. Then enters Valentina...
Valentina had the ability to break down inhibitions with her big brown eyes and had me loudly singing the ABC's with Elmo, in public. Even in my striving to "reclaim my childhood" I still find myself often acting like a stuck-up adult, too cool for the simple pleasures of life. Is it though that I'm too cool or that I'm too uncomfortable? I went to order a happy meal the other day and chicken out. Really? Really? Who's going to judge me at that point? The drive through attendant? I am really worried about impressing someone I'll never see again? No. My hesitation in singing with Elmo and a child in the middle of a crowded coffee shop is not from the fear that I was be deducted popularity points. It's instead again that I'll be reminded of what I missed; what I could have had.
Even though Valentina's curls were endearing and her big smile would leave no other's face brightened but it wasn't truly this sweet child that got me singing. It was the realization of the woe-is-me attitude in that moment. I'm sure there's more too it but the thought was enough to tell myself, "Get over it you wimp! Enjoy a child's company and reclaim your own." Satan uses several lies in our lives and it's something I talk about often.
The lie in this moment was this: You didn't sing Elmo in public as a kid and so it'll be too painful to do it now.
How ridiculous is that?! It's amazing what dumb things we allow ourselves to easily believe! Pointing a finger back at myself I say, "Shame on me." I could have missed the opportunity to make that little girl and her family smile. (She's apparently normally shy.) I would have missed the opportunity to have her little self curl up and lay her head on my chest to sleep. I would have missed the love I felt in that moment all because I was being a wimp.
I'll never know why Valentina took to me so rapidly and strongly but I'll be thankful for the lessons she taught me. What a beautiful little girl. Thank You Lord for this little angel you sent me.