I think I have discovered what may be God's best idea ever. Kids. Children. Second graders at Enos Garcia Elementary, to give perfect examples.
I read to five classes today, sharing my picture book Mad, Mad Annabelle Jane. I have read the book to a lot of adults, and to preschoolers at the library, but today will go down in my memory as one of my most favorite experiences.
The children were really well behaved. They sat quietly as I read to them, they raised their hands and waited politely to be called upon when we talked about everything from how to create a story to the difference between being mad and being mean. I thought at first that my favorite part was watching their faces as I read to them. Their little expressions were so animated. But I had to change my mind when they began to offer thoughts of their own.
Their eyes took on a starry twinkle, and I could clearly see the adventures taking shape in their minds. I loved the little boy who sat near me and told why a fierce hamster would his main character. His sincerely told story ended happily, thank goodness. I would hate to hear about a hamster who fails his hero's journey. Another little boy that I will remember forever told me in the couple of minutes remaining for questions that I look much younger than his forty six year old grandmother. One little girl whispered to me as I left that she is going to be a writer and wear really pretty shirts like mine.
Of course, I loved the way they made me feel about my story, and about my pretty shirt (and maybe my hair dye), but most of all I loved the way they made me feel about the future of the world. There are beautiful children who care about all the important things in life who are sitting in classrooms across the world. I only hope they can hang onto the magic of imagination. I hope they will all have teachers who give them tools to keep learning, wherever they go and whatever they do. I hope they will be spared the really sad things until they have their feet under them. They really are the best idea ever.