At Fitness Group, the children huddle around me and tug on my sleeve because they have things to show me.
One boy has drawn a dragon out of chalk that spans the length of 3 cars. He drags me over to his drawing, insisting that I observe the scales, the teeth, the wings, the claws. With precise detail, he explains his work. “You have to see this!” he cries and points to the “primary set of claws.”
Others alert the parents to ducks that have landed in the far corner of the parking lot. “Watch me chase them!” I hear. Still another displays a kite in the shape of an owl. “Come see this!” she calls out.
Others jump rope and tell me I have to watch them.
I consider how beautiful this insistence to come see this! is.
It won’t always be this way.
At some point, they’ll stop showing themselves–and their discoveries–off. They’ll become self-conscious and internal, hidden away and private. The world becomes a critical judge, and they’ll hide. They’ll become embarrassed and worried about the crowd.
They’ll produce things that deserve our attention, but we won’t know about them because they won’t dare tell anyone.
I know because I teach college seniors. Dragon drawings will stay hidden in notebooks. Nobody admits to chasing ducks or wanting to fly an owl kite.
I wish we all did.
Living with flair means we build communities where it’s right and good to cry out, “Come see this!” We build communities where we invite others to show us what they’ve made, where they tell us what they’re thinking, and where we watch and listen intently. That’s why I love Saturday Morning Pancakes and Creative Projects Night Out with the Ladies (what we did for my birthday in autumn).
In these spaces, we celebrate one another and rediscover that child within that once drew dragons, chased ducks across a parking lot, and told everyone about it. Come see this!
Journal: What have you made or been doing that you can tell others about?