If you were with us today at church, you know that we had a pet blessing day. Reverend Richard Brendan and Reverend Colleen Kelly worked together to bless dogs and cats and even a stuffed animal or two. Reverend Richard had asked for the kids remain in the celebration room because of the pets. Because they have been studying what it means to offer blessing in a number of ways, it seemed like a great thing! Because it’s not my first day at the rodeo, though, I brought some paper, crayons, scissors, and glue just in case. As it turned out, I looked over my right shoulder to find one of our leading artists needing some reminders to sit down, so I made my way to the floor with supplies in tow.
Reverend Kelly really hit the nail on the head during her meditation when she mentioned that some of us aren’t so good at being quiet, sitting down, or being on a leash. She meant dogs, I assume, in a literal way. Figuratively, though, I know that I am not usually one to be on a leash. A number of our children also have a hard time with this list. They too need to be moving (or drawing) in order to make sense of things.
Once one of the children had joined me on the floor, it was a quick minute before the rest of them followed. What is interesting to adults is not always so interesting to kids. They listen, they just like to have something else going on sometimes. Here’s what they did with the materials. Scroll down for a little more commentary after the pics.
Here’s what’s important, I think, about what you’re looking at. Some of these pictures were drawn by one child. They are prolific artists! To a person, though, their first picture was of their pet(s) or a friend’s pet. This happened with the following instruction if they asked what they were supposed to be drawing. “Do whatever you want.” We could have directed them to draw pets because it was pet blessing day. We want that to be meaningful to them. Instead, though, we gave them some basic supplies, limited so that they had to negotiate some sharing while being pretty quiet, and set them loose. The youngest was the first to start and he immediately drew his two dogs and himself. You see, he was already tapped into the meaning of the day.
I share this only to illustrate what happens when we let the students have the opportunity to explore their own experience. They knew without prompting what was going on, what was being held as sacred, and how to engage it in their own way. The get it. It’s just another ordinarily awesome day with some great children!