Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Because I couldn't sleep...

It was 6 years ago that I was tutoring at a private school in Paradise Valley. I had just finished with a student, the door to the room I worked in was open (it was one of those nice fall days), and it was lunch time. One of Kyra's kindergarten classmates, we'll call her Marie, ran inside to ask me a question I will never forget:

"Do you need a man and a lady to get married?"

"Yes," I replied, absentmindedly.

She ran off and out the door to continue her lunch. I heated up my lunch in the microwave and wondered what ceremony would be performed between which children during this recess break. There had already been several "weddings" on campus, none of which my child had been in thankfully! There were several girls obsessed with such things, and apparently a few boys willing to fall victim to their scam. It wasn't until moments later that I became concerned.

When Marie ran off she sat down next to Kyra and a few more children. They continued to chat until they were finished eating and went off the play. One girl remained, we'll call her Lucy. At this point in the school year I did not know many of the children or their parents very well at all, but I did recognize Lucy as the girl with 2 moms. She sat alone. She was five.

I walked over to the table that Lucy sat at, squeezed onto the bench beside her and asked how she was doing. I got a shrug and a smile and then asked,

"Are your parents married?"

"Yes," came the timid reply.

"That's pretty special," I said as I put my arm around her. I said a few more things that I really don't remember but Lucy packed up her lunch and seemed to be a bit happier when she trotted off to swing.

I will never forget that day or that little girl. She's not so little anymore and she became one of Kyra's best friends at her old school. It is this friendship and the friendship of her parents that I miss most of all. I would trust Kyra's life to either one of her moms and I can only say that about a handful of people I know outside of the Church. I am a better person having met them. I am a more humble person having had this experience. I am a more compassionate person knowing that I can have an impact on the way people feel about themselves. I don't have all the answers, but I have the answer for me. My answers lie with the children.