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Tonight I ate dinner with Jack. Jack is my youngest son. Jack is five and loving every minute of life. My daughter was at gymnastics. My older son was at soccer with dad. We talked A LOT! About A LOT of stuff! I love all of my children. Not the same because they are not the same. Jack makes me smile. He makes me chuckle and laugh A LOT! I am not sure if it is just Jack or if there is just something about being five. When your five your outlook on life is just a little different. It is about sunshine and puppy dogs. It is about the picture you drew in class today wearing your favorite Halloween costume. It is about chasing your friends on the playground at recess. I often tell people who are visiting our school and having a cloudy or perhaps even rainy day that they need to spend few moments in kindergarten. Little people are filled with joy. Little people share their joy, openly and boisterously. There is something about sitting in chairs that are five sizes too small and listening to conversations about Transformers and princesses that brings an instant smile to one's face.

I am not sure what happens between this magical age and our journey to adult hood. I am not sure when the magic begins to burn out. At some point, we begin to judge, to question and to worry. The little people chairs lose their appeal. We become guarded in our thoughts and conversations. What if Transformers and princesses are not cool? It took me all of two weeks as a new principal to learn the names of the little people in our building. They each have their own walk, their own smiles, and their own wonderful, fantastic stories. Middle school remains a challenge. There is a similarity of thought, of looks and ideas. It is too scary to be the one who likes Transformers when everyone else has moved on to Ninja Turtles. Laughter is cautious and smiles are guarded. Someone might be watching. Someone might be judging. I don't really talk about running on the playground, or what I want to be for Halloween or the great book I am reading. Someone might laugh... not in a friendly way. The older we get the more storm clouds that swirl.

I believe that God is present when we are five and thirteen. I believe his job comes with immense challenges. How different his role must be when being present in the laughter of a five-year-old and the tears of a thirteen year old. He is there in the sun and in the rain. After all, it is the sun and the rain that makes a rainbow. Jack was put here to share his sunniness, his smile, his laughter. Everyone needs a Jack. Everyone needs to sit in the little people chairs and remember what it was like to talk about superpowers and tiaras. Everyone needs to sit in the big chairs too and remember what it was like to share uncomfortable laughter and opinions that someone might judge. We need to do both. We need to have sunshine. We need to have rain. That is where the rainbow comes from. God is always the beginning, the middle and the end. We do not always recognize his presence or understand his role but we feel his being and existance.

I need more dinners with Jack, more laughter, more sunshine. I wait with nervous anticipation for his rain and his storms. I believe they will come....but in the end will be the color...the beautiful spectrum of light. I pray everyone reaches their rainbow. Until then, our table is always open. Everyone should get to enjoy dinner with Jack ~

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