Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Look Up

Today I read a story about a man who built a kite for his young nephew who lived in bad circumstances.  The nephew did not particularly like the kite and only flew it once or twice but he always remembered the gift.  Later when he was grown he asked his uncle why he had given the kite to him.  The uncle told him "I made you a kite so you would have to look up." 

After  this story I read my daily meditation

Reach ever upward after the things of the spirit.  Your whole character changes as you reach upward  - for beauty, for love, for honesty, for purity, and for unselfishness.

and it got me thinking.

My sister was in over the weekend for a visit, the first in 2 years.  She's out in Colorado and the last time I saw her my nieces and nephew were 10, 12 and 14. Well I think.  Anyway, now P & T are teenagers and the youngest is starting middle school.   I couldn't believe how much they've grown. 

On Saturday we all  went to Kennywood, a local amusement park.  To my surprise, Bellaboo, my youngest niece wanted to spend  her time with me and Sunshine and Happiness.   As we waited in line to get on the rides she talked and talked and talked.  She's only 11 (12?)  but is a strange mix of little kid and freaky middle aged preteen.  At one point she asked me how old I felt.   I said 46 (I should have lied)  at least physically.   And then she asked me, "well what about mentally?"  I told her I felt about 12 which meant we were close in age.  She then sighed and said, sometimes I feel 21.  It was funny but below the surface there was such heaviness.

Later as we were waiting for her two sibs to bungee 300 feet on the Skycoaster she said to me, "I always think of the worst possible thing that can happen. It's always bad.  Better go say goodbye to my brother and sister."  S&H looked at me incredulously.  Poor Boo, she's just like me.  Queen of Catastrophic Thinking.

Boo's circumstances aren't bad exactly but they are challenging.  Her sister and brother are best friends and she feels left out.  My sister is divorced and Boo's dad lives in Ohio.  She only gets to see him once or twice a year.  My sister is in the Air Force and she gets moved around a good bit.  Each time Boo makes friends she gets uprooted.  There's not been much constancy. She only just lost her baby fat which she was really self conscious about and BOOM here comes puberty.

Boo became really depressed when the family moved from Ohio to Colorado.  She told me she started listening to Avril Lavigne over and over.  At age 11.  My sister got her in counseling.  Avril Lavigne?  I'd be worried too!

It was eerie watching Boo pretend.  At Kennywood she kept acting all hard and tough.  It's important to her to seem strong and independent. Yet she was afraid to ride the wooden roller coasters and wouldn't admit it.  She kept saying the lines were too long or she wanted to ride a different ride.  She is still such a little kid.

S&H and I hugged on her, listened to her and tried to make her feel important.   She asked all kinds of questions and we answered her honestly.  We played games, complimented her and loved her as much we could. It wasn't a kite but it was something.  And then she was gone and it made me realize.....

Boo on right with hand on hip

I need to look up more often.