Begging and pleading, my three-year-old niece pulls my arm as she sees the colorful wonder before her. The excitement bubbles out of her small frame. Unable to contain herself, she jumps in place as she looks at the six foot mouse come from his safe haven. Other children start to run to the mouse with lightening in their steps. Screams of pure bliss fill the restaurant. Cameras are flashing as adults try to capture the innocence of this moment. That moment when joy makes the world stand still.
My niece starts to shout at the top of her lungs. She is unaware that her mother had to beg Peter and rob Paul for this occasion. She doesn't see the pain of society's woes that awaits past the balloons and out the front doors. She is oblivious to war and hate. She can't contrast life and death. She doesn't know about politics or religion. All she sees is a six foot mouse and children clamoring to get his attention.
As I look around at this one point in time, I remember to cherish all of her childhood moments. Trying to see what she sees; trying not to realize that happiness can be fleeting.
"AUNTIE...can we go play now?"
"Yes, my love, let's go play."