radio blog silence; as you’ll know if you read my last post, I was holiday clubbing all last week. I enjoyed it far more than I anticipated. The thing I enjoyed most was forming relationships with the children – there’s nothing more touching when they start saving you seats, whispering in your ear, telling you about their lives and generally being completely at ease in your company.
On Saturday I was exhausted and was going to go home early – as I approached the door one little girl, the same one I mentioned in the last post, approached me and said, “Where are you going?”
“Home,” I told her.
“I’m very, very tired.”
She murmured something I couldn’t catch so I bent down to hear her properly. “I’m going to miss you when you go.”
What a heart melter! I wanted to give her a huge hug, but we were alone, and Child Protection policies roared in my ears, so I settled for a light arm-over-shoulder moment. After talking a little with her I suggested we made a new name badge together before I left, to which she readily agreed. She insisted we share a chair – thankfully our church chairs are reasonably generous!
“Why are you going?” She asked me again, while beginning to make her new badge. Then, as I fumbled for an adequate reply, she told me in her sweet whisper: “I don’t like it when you’re not here.”
“It’s okay. I’ll stay,” I replied instantly, unable to compete with this, utterly without defence. It didn’t take much to disarm me! She, in turn, settled herself down and delighted in playing with glitter glue, and apparently relishing my proximity. We stayed in our warm bubble until she had to go home (after a prolonged search for her flip flops which had migrated to another part of the building!)
The power of feeling wanted is quite astonishing – which reminds me of the converse feeling, of feeling not wanted. I ask myself – who have I made to feel wanted, or not wanted, today?