Here’s the story: Several years ago, I visited my daughter in Japan, who was teaching in the JET program. It was a wonderful visit due to all the people who I was able to find a connection to, even if we didn’t speak the same language.
I tried hard to be a good ambassador from the US, while knowing that I failed a few times. Why did my brain cells remember the total number of miles of coastline, but forget the Prime Minister’s name? Oh, it wasn’t a pretty site. But I did know how to say “Thank you very much for a lovely evening” in Japanese. That had to account for something.
I totally enjoyed being dressed by a professional kimono dresser, especially when we spoke of raising daughters and our aspirations for them. We forgot we needed an interpreter, and my daughter got to imbibe in a lot of green tea, while two older ladies had a great time.
And then my daughter took me on a trip into the country, through a very long tunnel and into ancient times of castles and shoguns. It was a beautiful sunny May day, just right for being a tourist at an old castle, tip-toeing through the tea rooms, and ringing the bell to wake up the gods to listen to our wishes.
I had noticed when we arrived at the castle, that there were a couple of school buses parked in a side area. I saw a few children in their early grade school uniforms, yellow for girls, blue for boys, and then my daughter and I disappeared into the stone castle, exploring the artifacts of the now museum.
Thirty minutes later we emerged into the sunlight, receiving an ovation that is reserved for whole football teams or Justin Bieber. We froze just as we stepped onto the castle’s landing–the applause and cheers couldn’t be for us.
We took a step back, out of sight and then peeked again. The large polo-field was filled with yellow and blue uniformed children, who were totally engaged in looking right at us and cheering us on. Another peek showed us that the children were actually being introduced to a very large Minnie Mouse.
My daughter and I took a deep breath, and quickly exited, stage left. Once hidden again by the carved stone block stage, we looked back upon a sea of 5,000 children and their teachers. No one could have threaded their way through the ocean of bodies and happy faces. We left as the children began to sing, all 5,000 voices raised in singing the “Mickey Mouse” song.
Here’s the rest of the story:
Why not have a Sit and Sing at our local airports? On Thursday afternoons? Right when our legislators leave Washington DC and head for home. Just think, every airport filled with singing children, sitting on the floor, having a great time and being supervised by their parents and teachers. Just think how many children will need to use the restrooms? We could put the boys in blue and girls in yellow t-shirts–they are so cute.
And then we too, just like the airlines, can inform people of all the children who have had to be turned away from Head Start and other early educational programs. Children who no longer have access to food programs. Children who do not have enough VOICES in Congress to protect them. Perhaps when our elected officials are trying to pull their rolling luggage through singing children and they begin to get more out-raged people who can’t pull their rolling luggage through the children–maybe the Children will have a greater VOICE in Congress.
What do you think–can we have a summer of Thursday Sit and Sing at our airports?
Be gentle with our children–singing can overcome many challenges.