One of the reasons we run a family bouncy castle business is to give our children some work experience and we recently let our 6 year old daughter help when a friend of mine was hiring our castle. Although she is only 6, she is very articulate and so we asked her to explain the rules whilst I listened as a I set the castle up. I was so proud of my daughter, because there was nothing I needed to add to her explanation of the rules sheet.
She has helped a few times since with our playhouse that has a ballpool as she is excellent at bagging up the balls at the end. We were eating tea after a recent collection and we were having a game trying to guess how old the birthday boy had been. Someone guessed 3, someone else 2 and then my daughter said, ‘he was 2’.
I knew he was 2 but was surprised by her certainty. When I asked her how she knew she said that it was because the cake had a big number 2 on it.
One of my teenage sons had been there helping (you don’t expect Tracey or myself to do all the heavy lifting do you?) and he hadn’t noticed this and neither had I, but my daughter had.
This caused me to think about how often we stumble through life without really noticing what is going on. We can get so absorbed in trying to cope and to get things done that we forget to live.
Jesus promised that if we followed him that we could find life in all its fullness.
I want to live well and to enjoy life. I want to find fulfilment and ultimately I believe that this is only found in a relationship with God.
I also hope that we don’t underestimate children. It worries me that we try to protect them from the realities of life too much, our bouncy castle business has given our children the opportunity to talk with customers and to learn a bit about work.
Children really can do amazing things and we need to take risks and let them have a go at things that might be beyond them. As they try things, we can support and encourage them and also let them know that it’s okay to fail.
No one is perfect and we all get things wrong sometimes but if we don’t try then we will never get anything right.
We need to invest in children. Often when they join us in a job it can take longer but they deserve the opportunity to learn and grow.