Sunday, October 03, 2010
Ruby on Angels
I can't imagine the rollercoaster ride of parenting. Watching children change as they come to understand the physics of the real world and as they take crayon and draw boundaries around imagination pulls on every emotion we have. We went to see the 'Owl' movie and were minding both Ruby and Sadie for a few minutes. Ruby was running around with her arms spread wide. I said, 'Oh, look, Ruby's flying!' She stopped, instantly, in her tracks and said, 'No, I'm running around with my arms out, I can't fly.' Then she added, 'sometimes you are just being silly.' She was right, I was being silly, I was talking to 'Ruby-two-weeks-ago' not the sophisticated 'Ruby-right-now'. It's hard to keep up.
But then she and I were in the car as Joe and Mike were getting things set up in the restaurant, making room for wheelchairs and kids. Ruby and I, as Canadians, of course discussed the weather.
'It's sunny now,' she said.
'It was raining a few minutes ago,' I said.
'Maybe it will snow!' she said excitedly.
'Do you like snow,' I asked.
'I do,' she said.
'What do you like about snow?' I asked.
'Playing in it,' she answered.
'What games?' I asked.
'I like making snow angels,' she said.
'Those are fun,' I said.
'You know about snow angels?' she asked.
'I do,' I said, not realizing that I was about to get a lesson in theology.
'When I was little,' she said, 'I made a little snow angel. Now I make a bigger one,' she said, and continued without prompting, 'do you know what that means?'
'No, what does it mean,' I asked.
'When I was little I made a little snow angel so I only had to be little kid nice, now I make a bigger snow angel so now I have to be bigger kid nice. Every year my snow angel is bigger so my nice has to grow bigger too.'
'Oh,' I said, thinking through her view on adulthood and responsiblity and all.
'Do you make snow angels?' she asked.
Though it's been years, I said, 'Yes, I do.'
'Then you know,' she said without a hint of humour, 'you have to be really really nice because you have a big angel.'
'So every year you have to be nicer?' I asked.
'Yes,' she said, 'and it gets harder every year.'
'It does?' I asked.
'Yes,' she said, 'because grown ups have to worry so much that they can forget to be nice. That' why God wants everyone to make snow angels. It reminds them that one day they will be real angels. So they have to be nice to practice.'
It was time to go in for dinner. I asked Ruby if I could tell Joe and her mom and dad and sister about snow angels. She nodded and listened carefully to make sure I got it right.
When I finished, she nodded approval.
I felt like I had scribed the first epistle of 'Ruby' ... and for the first time in years, can't wait for it to snow.