(Lala shaking the hand of a “Dr. Seuss tree” on her way home from preschool)
Lala’s snuck another bowl of cereal, and I tell her it’s time to be done snacking — the smells of garlicky pizza from school now mingling with layers of cinnamon and milk on her breath.
“I have to do something,” she says, running up the stairs. Minutes later, from across the hall, I see the mess-making in full force.
Blankets are laid flat across every empty space of bedroom floor, stuffed animals snuggled together on the edges. Then she calls that it’s time for FunLand to open.
“If you wanna come, then come here now. If you wanna come, then come here now,” and it’s her song of beckoning.
I tell her I’m almost done getting ready, that we need to go to school to pick up her sisters and that I will be there in just a minute. And then another minute.
And I almost miss my chance.
“FunLand is closing!” she says, pulling the bedroom door shut.
“No, no,” I say. “I really want to visit.”
“Is it Saturday?” she asks stern faced.
“No, it’s Thursday.”
“OK, good. I’m not open Saturdays.”
It’s a close call, and she continues her song: “If you wanna come, then come here now. If you wanna come, then come here now.”
And I know better than to let the moment pass me by, and so I step into the room, and her face lights, and you can see the joy of this place she’s created, that she wants to share with her mama.
I understand this — the wanting to share delight and beauty, to step into a land free of sharp edges, where all the faces smile back, and I hop across the blankets like lily pads, and I sing the theme song of this place and the moment right here with my girl.
“If you wanna come, then come here now. If you wanna come, then come here now.”
“Are you ready for the Happy Sprinkles?” she asks.
“Definitely,” I say.
“Then stand still.”
Lala picks up her stuffed hippo, stuffed bear, pink kitty, mini lion and throws them at my belly, the side of my head, and we are both laughing, and it is our song.
Joining with Lisa-Jo Baker and the Five Minute Friday community where today’s prompt was SONG.
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Oh I loved this… and what a beautiful reminder to slow time down. And don’t our children find ways to teach us this lesson every single day. I too would love to stand in a room and be showered by stuffed happiness!!!
Yes! I loved that her shower was more a pelting and hammering than a sprinkling. Sometimes that’s just how happiness rolls.
Oh, the candor and innocence of children are so incredibly beautiful! It amazes me how they can get lost into a special world of their own when they play. My little niece of two years is just the same. Best of all when they think we understand what they are now actually doing when they play in a place in their minds!
So beautiful, Mia, and it reminds me over and over again how I want to see this wonder-filled life.
Everything everything everything about this story of Lala and Funland thoroughly delights my everything!!! I could go on and on but where do I even start? Lala knew your need of Fun Land! (God knew too!) “If you wanna come, then come here now!” Sung again and again. NOW is the moment, NOW! Lala knew. It’s a gift that children have. With a warning: “If you wanna come, then come here now….It’s Closing!” NOW, not later…YOU knew! : ) Do you want to be sprinkled with happiness? Then stand STILL! : ) Love that!!! Cup your hands and receive your happiness – this time in the form of stuffed friends flying at you! How I love this whole beautiful happening, Ashley! And I so love the way you told it to us! ahhhh, my day couldn’t get any better than it is this very moment!!! xoxo
Now is the moment — isn’t that the truth?! And to think I almost lost out on the chance to visit FunLand, even with – especially with – how much I needed it. Perhaps it’s then that we’re even more likely to miss it. Anyway, thanks for your joy with me, Ma. That Lala is so good for my soul!
Love, love, love this 5 minutes!!
Thank you, Martha. I know how well you understand seeing life through the eyes of a child!
Ashley, Lala is the reason I spent most of my career teaching preschool. She teaches so much moment by moment and lives in the present, like the children in my classrooms. I always learned more from them than I taught them. They were the joy of my life. Lala is so precious, what a gift she is to you. Funland sounds enchanting. What a delightful place she created for you to share together.
You are right. It’s unbelievable how much I learn from these kids of mine – of ours. I’ve seen you in action with kids, Barb, and you really are amazing. Remember that midweek deal we did years ago at church? Those were some of Sici’s very favorite times. She felt so special, her creativity valued within the church walls. Gift, really.
Thank you for sharing this beautiful moment. Life is fleeting and it’s so important to honor these childhood moments yet so easy to forget in our busy lives. Thanks for the reminder! Xo
So many that pass me by — we simply can’t take them all in — but it is so important to honor, as you say…these moments and the hearts within the kids that create them. Thank you, Lorraine.
that was awesome.
She is. :-)
So very glad I came here now!!!!
Great to connect with you through FMF again!
I’m smiling way bigger than I was five minutes ago. Thanks, Ashley. :-)
Aww, what a sweet comment, Abbey.
Oh how easy it is for us to miss those Funland moments! So glad you didn’t… such a great reminder! When my girlie was small (well – and even now really!) she would stop talking until I would look at her… she would say,”Listen to me with your eyes Mommy!” Oh how that would pierce my multi-tasker heart – but that eye to eye, heart to heart communication… well – that is just the BEST harmony that there is!
Wow, Karrilee, that is profound. “Listen to me with your eyes Mommy.” Thank you for sharing that. Yes, eye to eye, heart to heart communication — there’s no replacement or stand-in for that kind of harmony.
Nothing like the song of a child to encourage our hearts, huh, Ashley? Especially the song that our very own children sing, the child God gave us with the song he wrote just for them! Love the Dr. Seuss tree….as I am hugs Seuss fan! We better come now! We don’t want to miss Funland! Phew! It’s not Saturday!
Kelly (visiting from FMF)
Happy to see you here, Kelly. Yes, so encouraged by my little girl and her free-flowing song. And that tree…I’ll have to show a full shot of it sometime. It looks like one of those hairy old man trees in Seuss’ books…one of the best neighborhood landmarks.
What a beautiful moment! Your daughter reminds me of mine, so full of fun that I can miss if I’m too busy.
Here’s to trying to catch a few more! Sending love your way, Gabrielle.
Totally delightful! You had me at Funland with you.
Absolutely delightful! So glad I didn’t miss this!
The blessing hovered and you made the time and place for it to land :):)
I hope Lala reconsiders and never closes FunLand. What a joy read!
Oh my goodness, this whole experience, this story, the joy and innocence and wisdom of a child – it’s so delightful, Ash. I am so happy that you didn’t miss this moment. I wish I could come to Lala’s FunLand, free of sharp edges and full of faces that smile back, stand still and be pelted with happy sprinkles, dance around and sing. But somehow, your story brings me there in my heart – and it makes my heart glad and reminds me to become more like a child. Thank you, dear one, and thank you, Lala.
I’m a little late to funland, but it’s not a Saturday, so that’s good…phew! What a sweet gift. Thank you for the giggle and happy place on a Monday afternoon, Ash (and Lala)!!
How happy I am for this space to share in FunLand with all you lovelies! Pelting you with virtual stuffed animals right this minute!
I’m going to have work with Lala on those hours. Saturday seems like a prime FunLand day!
Sweet, sweet story! “Funland” so cute. So reminds me of something one of my girls would do. Yes, a place with no sharp edges and only smiling faces reflected back. Isn’t that what we all want. Three cheers for you, for choosing to stop the mom train to make it in time for funland.