“There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.
Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends,
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.
Yes we’ll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we’ll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.”
-Where The Sidewalk Ends, Shel Silverstein
This poem gives me goosebumps every time I read it. Something about it seems so incredibly perfect to me, as if Mr. Silverstein truly understood the nature of children and their ability to not only see the beautiful world around them, but to transport others there with them. I’ve always loved kids! Ask my parents, I was obsessed with babies from the beginning, and I was very passionate about playing Mommy and Teacher as a young child. As I grew older, I realized that while I was learning a lot about kids, and I was getting more opportunities to teach them, I was also learning a lot FROM children.
I have learned that my imagination is something to love and peruse on a daily basis. I have learned that dancing like I’m crazy is fun, even if people are watching! I have learned that play isn’t something that stops being good for you when you get older. And I have learned that loving God and loving people doesn’t have to be as hard as I thought. All you have to do is watch a child wave emphatically at a stranger in the grocery store to see that they just don’t put up the same barriers we do to loving the people we encounter. Step into our kid’s worship room and watch them dance and sing for Jesus. I want that kind of passion when I dance with Jesus. I want that kind of confidence when I sing to him.
I chose to work for Discovery Kids because I love children and because they teach me how to love people and God unconditionally and passionately. And I also chose to work with them because I want to have the opportunity to help them NEVER lose that passion and innocent faith! I want to remind them constantly that Jesus loves them, no matter what! I want to teach them that the love they feel from him doesn’t have to be earned. I want to encourage them to keep loving people without requiring anything in return. I want to show them that their stories matter, yes, even at their young age! But as they grow, it will be so hard to remember these things unless we teach them now. And I want the chance to hug children and kiss babies who may just want or need a little extra love and attention this week!
Sometimes, people tell me that I’m “brave” for deciding to work with children. HA! Brave? It’s terrifying! Your children are so precious and I want the best for them! Yes, the work can be hard. Have you seen that hallway on Sunday mornings? But it is so incredibly rewarding. And one of the best parts of getting to love on kids every single week? They love you right back! And they teach you how to find the awesome, imaginary, beautiful places. They help you to not be afraid when the world looks topsy turvy because it’s clearly more fun that way! They teach you to look at everything a little differently.
And they show you the place where the sidewalk ends.