Call it fun-sized or vertically challenged or petite, at 5'1 (and a half, that half is very important when you are 5'1!), I have always been the smallest one in any group. Not only was I always, and I'm not using always lightly here, the smallest, I was always the slowest too. The term, "Wait up!", was probably the most overused in my small childhood vocabulary. You can imagine this made for a great time in gym class, particularly when teams were being chosen. Yep, ALWAYS, the last one chosen. Always.
(Just to give you a point of reference, this pic was taken at MOPS a couple years
ago. I'm the one in the black dress down front. It was a few days before I gave
birth to Anna, so don't judge too hard on how I puffy I look! :)
All that to say, I now have a 4 year old in the same predicament. She is nearing 5 and her cousin, who just turned 3, has passed her in height. Yep, pint sized peanut sure seems to sum it up here. She is also the slowest. She took soccer this past summer and the younger kids were just flying by her as she struggled to juggle the ball down the field.
Halloween this year was much of the same. She just couldn't keep up with the kids running from house to house. She went with a large group and when they went to the door and were crowded around it, she was usually right in the middle of the kids and they all were reaching over her head and around her to get candy. She was often the last one getting it and, even when she wasn't, the last one off the stoop and down the walkway.
(Lilla is the one running down the driveway,
the other kids already on the sidewalk,
running to their next stop)
I could see her getting more and more frustrated and doing the old familiar, "Wait up everybody!" When it comes to buckets of free candy though, as anyone with kids knows, it's every man for himself. So, she tried to rush more and she began getting worn down and tripping. Tears starting flowing, it wasn't pretty. My heart ached for that of my own childhood, left out and alone. I just so get those feelings.
Suddenly though, the mercy of a 6 year old was given to her. One little girl said, "I'll walk with Lilla." It was one of the loveliest things I've ever seen a child do and I'm just overwhelmed with a sense of humility and gratefulness to her for it. She knew she was giving up running with the other kids, giving up getting as much candy, sacrificing her own desires for that of a friend.
I can't help but think of what the Bible says in John 15:13 says, "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." It may seem like, come on now, it's just candy, it's not really laying down your life, no, it's not physical dying, but it is dying to self. This sweet 6 year old gave up her own desires, to show a friend love and compassion.
Mercy, plain and simple. And I will always be grateful to the compassion and generousity of a 6 year old for teaching it to me, and to Lilla.
Oh...and just because Anna was so cute, I gotta give you a peek...baaaaaa....