Have you ever had that moment when you notice how really different your kids can be from another child? Last night, I was reminded…once again. We went to this cool dockside restaurant with some old friends. We don’t get to see each other often, but our kids love to play together. The restaurant had a really neat play area out front, complete with a pirate and pirate ship; so, as we were leaving, we decided to let our kids play. Our kids were “wide open,” having a blast. They were running, screaming, “walking the plank,” chasing one another, and being very loud “pirates.” In the midst of this chaos, there stood a very petite, shy little girl, maybe about five or six years old. She seemed very intrigued by all the festivities; however, by the facial expressions, her grandmother didn’t seem so amused. She looked as if she might just lose her mind; she appeared very amazed, and even alarmed, that children could actually get excited and speak above a whisper.
Now, please, don’t get the wrong impression, our kids were not being rude, nor were they invading this young girl’s space, and this was going on outside, not around a lot of people. In fact, there wasn’t anyone else around at the moment, or I would have definitely put a stop to their lively activities. Even so, the difference between this meek, timid little girl and our loud, rambunctious brood was like the plundering pirates and the delicate handmaiden. It was quite the contrast. This contrast continued as we went to our car, too, because this other family just happened to be parked right beside us…
Our boys were “sword fighting” all the way to our vehicle while this little trio of daughter, mother and grandmother walked quietly and peacefully to theirs…with the grandmother still looking shocked and appalled, and I’m assuming, by the expressions, the commentary she was giving her daughter was anything but pleasant. Once we were in our car, with the doors shut, I just had to laugh, and say, “Well, we DO have boys, and we do loud REALLY well!”
You see to me, it’s okay if your child is really quiet, really loud, really silly or really serious. They are all made different, and each home should run differently. What works for my home may not work for yours, and that’s ok! I don’t expect your kids to be like mine, and I don’t want mine to be like yours. I believe each child should be encouraged to be who God had created him or her to be. We don’t know what the future holds for each of them, but each one has a unique purpose in this life, and often, that little (or big!) personality he or she was designed specifically for that special purpose. There will be moments when they all will need to be quiet, listening and observing, and there will be other moments when they will need to take charge, speaking out and standing up for their given cause. So, “Play on,” I say! No matter if your play is rowdy and loud, or if it’s gentle and quiet. You have a place on this playground of life. Find it, and enjoy it, while also, appreciating the method in which others play. You never know when you’ll need to be those plundering pirates who raid the enemy’s ships or that gentle maidservant who wins the heart of a king! Play on!