Saturday, July 15, 2006

Being Childlike

Being a quilter tends to spill over into other areas of my life. I also serve as an Awana leader in our local church. Every year, we have a Grand Prix race for our Truth and Training club (3rd-6th grade age group). Leaders are also allowed to buy a kit and make a car for fun. There are no prizes, just bragging rights. This was my first Grand Prix car. I was especially fond of the little kitty curled up on the bed. Although the photo is a poor one, there are little stitches on the quilt and everything.

Working with kids, whether it's teaching them to knit, quilt, sew clothing or being a leader in a great organization like Awana can be very rewarding. In some ways, it gives you permission to be somewhat childlike yourself. I have a blast designing and building my Grand Prix car every year. I'm always striving to come up with an idea that will make people scratch their heads or cause them to wonder how I come up with such wacky ideas.

More importantly, to teach a child, you have to get inside their head. If you can understand their dreams, their fears, their hopes, their worries, you can speak to their deepest needs. By letting myself be a kid for awhile in the making of my Grand Prix car, with great ambitions of smokin' the other leaders at the finish line and even experiencing the disappointment of coming in last in the race, I'm tasting a little bit of what the kids experience. I'm walking a mile in their shoes, to use an old metaphor, so I can communicate with them better when the chance comes.

In the meantime, I'm still trying to figure out my design for next year. How difficult would it be to make a sewing machine? Or maybe a rotary cutter? A boxing glove? (Did I mention I also study kickboxing?) Hmmmm . . .

1 comment:

livnletlrn said...

I remember a similar phenomenon when I started building a car-like thing with Legos with Jesse a few years ago. I never really understood the draw for a Legomaniac, but we had a great conversation while building, camaraderie about our designs, and it truly was a fun time. Usually I'm working on one of my own projects while he's building, and sometimes he'll give my obsession du jour a try, but it was definitely cool to join in on one of his interests for a while too.