Today it is my pleasure to introduce you to a sweet girl I see for speech-language therapy. Although I’m unable to show her face or reveal her name because of privacy laws, something that occurred during our therapy session yesterday holds a bit of truth for us all. I’m so grateful her mom has given me permission to share this story here today.
Psychology notes that we are able to identify dominant personality traits in others when we possess those traits ourselves. If that’s true, then I admit I spotted myself in this little girl from the very start. Confident and bold, loving and sweet, a very hard worker, loves order, and likes to do things her way. A Type A in the making, her mom and I have agreed! I just love this little girl. Sure we butt heads once in a while, but there’s no doubt we work hard together to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time.
So yesterday, when I saw her line up that pile of cards on her lap and get them all just so, in order, I realized once again that our personalities are just as much innate as they are formed. The only truth that makes sense to me when I see a little 4-year-old ordering a pile of cards just so is that she was born that way…she’s an organizer and likes order, and it’s just who she is. There was peace in that observation, an acceptance of myself and that little girl for who we are at our core.
We moved along with the stories on our cards. Moments passed, and before I knew it, this little girl had taken off her boot.
And out from that boot came a construction paper picture!
A work of art on one side, and her name in big bold letters on the other side. All on a piece of bright red paper.
I asked this little girl, what is a picture doing folded up in her boot? She explained she does this every day! Her teachers say she can only color with crayons, but she uses pencils and crayons. She hides the pictures in her boot so her teachers can’t see.
I look closely at both sides, tell her what beautiful pictures they are, and try to get some more clarity as to why she feels she needs to hide these beautiful pictures in her boots (I know, a little diversion from what you might consider traditional speech therapy, but we were practicing all of our sounds during this whole interaction and she was very proud to share her creation!). She showed me how she folded the picture up all pretty, how she could make it into a bird and fly. Paper wings flapping in the air, “see, it flies!”
Next thing I knew, she said it was time to put it back. She folded it up nicely. I took it and placed it in the back of the boot where her heel would rest, assuming that was the most logical place for a piece of paper in a boot?! “NO,” she said without reservation, “it goes on the bottom!” She put it in the very bottom of the boot, tucked away deep, hidden away nice and flat.
I have yet to discover whether there was truth in her statement that the teachers only allow the children to use crayons, or whether they also allow pencil drawings. But the truth regarding pencils and crayons matters very little as far as I’m concerned.
In fact, what moved me to post this story was the fact that this little girl felt she needed to keep her creation hidden. Clearly so proud. She knew everything about that creation. She knew it could fly and how to fold it perfectly so it would fit in the boot. But why did she need to hide it? Was it simply a fun 4-year-old game of hide and seek? Perhaps. But knowing how intelligent this little girl is, I believe she may have had it hidden for other reasons.
This got me thinking…
How often do we hide away our creations, the gifts we have to offer this world?
Why do we feel the need to hide those beautiful gifts, those beautiful dreams we have for ourselves?
If we know these things are so wonderful, why do we keep them to ourselves, only for others to stumble upon?
What are we doing, as adults, to encourage our children to openly share their creations, their gifts, so others can see?
What are we doing, as adults, to encourage one another to share our gifts?
What good does a gift do if it is hidden away in deep, dark places where nobody can see?
Today, I encourage you. Whether you’re Type A, Type B, or any other through Type Z, take those creations, those gifts out of those boots of yours, and let the world see your greatness!
No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open. Luke 8:16-17