Closer to Neverland

There are things Gracie Lou Who sees that I can’t. But I think maybe, just maybe, I used to.

My shadow on the wall is a mysterious new friend. With a little hand patting at it, I am reminded of Wendy helping sew Peter’s shadow back onto his feet. The dark space on the wall isn’t just the science of an object in front of a light; it’s someone new.

After her morning nap, she lies in bed, rolling back and forth with feet stretched high. Grasping onto her toes, she sings lyrics that I don’t think will ever make it onto the radio (but I’m not going to bet against her). She can happily sing and sway for 15 minutes before calling out for escape. Until then, I watch through the monitor at this little one and wonder who she is singing to.

During our walks to the park, Gracie Lou Who waves hello to dogs and people. Even if they are a block away and headed another direction. She greets the world with trust and kindness. To say hello to a dog at the park makes perfect sense. Does she hear the dog say hello back?

As I write this post, hundreds of thousands of government workers are without paychecks, thousands of migrants are waiting in border camps for a chance to ask for asylum, millions of refugees are displaced throughout the world, hundreds of foster children are seeking safe homes in my city, and many parents will explain to their child today why the color of skin (rather than the content of their character) still means so much to some people.

So I go back to this one child. This one child that cries when she is hungry or wants to be picked up so she can see the chickens outside. This one child that I can love and keep safe when her parents need me.

I cannot change the world. I cannot do everything I want for those workers, migrants, refugees, or children. I can do something for this one child. And for today, that will be enough.

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