The sweetest little conversation happened yesterday.
My little dancers from Dance Camp for Children of Prisoners and Local Youth and I were sitting in a circle for Circle Time. This is a precious time where we sit down to talk about their favorite, most memorable moments in class. They answer the question: “What do you hope you’ll never forget?” One by one they list the moments that were most special to their little hearts.
But quickly, a little background. The week before, Tinker Bell surprised the dancers and she came to Dance Camp.
She brought them all sparkly wands and goodies, then she helped them design their Dance Camp costumes for their upcoming performance. After that, she danced with them! Smiles were everywhere. Hugs were unstoppable.
Tinker Bell brought magic into the room, and then when she sat down and helped the students design their costumes there was encouragement, love and happiness that I cannot explain in words here. There were special moments full of little hands covered in marker ink that waved Tinker Bell over. There were magic spells being cast with their sparkly wands. There were twirls and giggles. There were little princesses walking on the tips of their little toes. It was magical.
Now flash forward to this past weekend of camp. We had accomplished a lot. We finalized our show order (which the kids chose), we talked about the upcoming performance and what it is to be a professional performer. Then, one little girl raised her hand.
“Miss Sheena? Will Tinker Bell be at our show?” Silence filled the room. All of their little eyes got just a little bit bigger.
“I think so!” I answered, although I was unsure. “I have to call Tinker Bell and ask her if she can come.”
The little girl immediately said, “But how are you going to call her?” (Quick Sheena, quick. HOW are you going to call Tinker Bell?)
“There’s this little tiny phone,” I said, holding my index finger and thumb together. “This little phone lives inside of a flower. I peel open the petals and I get the special phone, and then I can call Tinker Bell!”
“But Miss Sheena. Do you know what flower the phone is in?”
I thought for a minute. “No… I don’t! I’m going to have to search a lot of flowers to find this phone, aren’t I?”
But then the little girl stops me and says something I’ll never forget:
“No, Miss Sheena. There’s a Tinker Bell phone is EVERY flower!”
My heart filled with so much joy at this statement. One of the life lessons I hoped to pass on to my students was that there is always opportunity if we look for it. Within every life experience, there is always something magical: an open door, a chance for communication, an experience to grow from, a person to meet, a connection to be made. When that little girl told me that there is a Tinker Bell phone hidden in every flower, I couldn’t stop smiling. Because – you know what – she was right.
There is a Tinker Bell phone in every flower as long as we look for it. If we peel back the petals, we find the prize. And that prize can connect us to new people, challenges and opportunities.
Here I was thinking I had to find a specific flower to find the phone, and this little girl reminded me that’s not my job! I don’t have to worry! I don’t have to assign a specific flower or moment in my life with so much importance. Every flower has the power; every flower is an opportunity.
So after Dance Camp had come to a close – all of the hugs had been given, the “thank yous” had been said, and the floors had been swept – I went immediately to find the nearest flower. And there, I found a Tinker Bell phone and I called Tinker Bell.