The Rainbow Flying Car

Today was day three of four consecutive field trips with 3 and 4 year olds at our child care center.  I am attending all of these field trips out of necessity, not desire.  I was already tired from a busy week; frustrated by issues I can’t address; resentful of the time I’m having to spend away from my work; and, well, just plain grumpy.

The morning didn’t start out well.  Too many things were getting in the way.  Breakfast took too long.  I was interrupted by calls or families.  The bathroom trip before we started was something less than managed chaos.  The buses were determined to not be ready on time.  The car seats were apparently in on the conspiracy and wouldn’t fasten easily. Ah, field trip mornings……a exercise in patience.  Something I was running very low on.

Finally!  In the bus.  On the road.  To the farm!

Stop.  Red light. Then another.  And, another.  Every       red       light      for      what       seemed      like      100       miles.   Okay, it wasn’t that long.  But, when you’re already late and people are waiting for you, frustration leads to exaggeration.

I was on my way to a beautiful farm.  The sun was beginning to peek through the clouds.  These children were getting the opportunity to pick apples and pumpkins themselves – right from the trees and vines!!  What a wonderful day.  UGH!  That is NOT where my head was.  I was annoyed about everything.  Every light seemed to mock me.  I was sure every slow car pulled out in front of me juuuusstttttt to add to my frustration.  Then there was the idiot in the wrong lane that held up traffic for two cycles of the light.  And how about the truck that couldn’t manage to go over 40 mph?  Did he wait for me to show up?!  Oh……GOOD… we’ve found construction!  And it just kept going.   There was not one ounce of joy in me.

After a simple comment from a teacher about our lateness, three little voices cried out in joy with a solution to all our problems.  A Flying Car.

We drove for over half an hour listening to descriptions of this flying car that would take us to our field trips so much easier and faster.  They dreamed of trips to California and Hawaii.  It would be painted like a rainbow.  They decided it needed bathrooms and sinks to wash up.  And we had to have food in it!  I loved when one little girl said with enthusiasm “we need to have a lamp!”  As if having one light would make any other problem go away.  In the course of this trip to the farm these children had created a flying empire.  There was a pool and gymnasium, a shopping mall and closets (“we forgot the closets!”).  There was even discussion about how many washing machines we would need to take care of all the children’s clothes.  They wanted to be sure we had fire alarms so we could have fire drills (yay!  they do listen during fire safety week!).  Although….I’m still a little fuzzy as to where we go when we exit the flying car for a fire drill – the idea makes me a little nervous.  They did plan to build a sidewalk outside – for the fire drills and for walking the dogs that we needed to have.  But it was being attached by tape…..hmmm…..still a little nervous.

They thought of basic things, like a place to sleep.  They thought of comfort things, like dancing shoes and jewelry boxes.  They thought of big things, like the fact that we had to bring “the grandmas and grandpas” with us.

You see, our child care center is blessed to share space with an adult day health center.  Our children call the adults from the center “the grandmas and grandpas.”  There is interaction between these two groups often.  We call this our Intergenerational Program.  It takes on many forms throughout the year.  But, today, when we had not seen nor sung with the grandmas and grandpas yet, the intergenerational program was in the hearts of these children.  They created a world to take us on adventures, but could not leave behind their grandmas and grandpas.

As we got to the farm, one little girl cried out to us all with such passion.  “WE NEED A CROSS!  A CROSS, AND JESUS!”

I forgot all about being tired, and frustrated, and resentful and grumpy.  I looked up….as a friend often reminds me to do.  The sun shined in on those children with wild ideas and busy imaginations.  It seemed a little brighter at that moment.  Maybe I just finally noticed how bright it could be.

A flying car may sound crazy, but if you have the right person to tell you about it… sounds beautiful!

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