What do you get when you cross two Tolkien fans? A little boy who introduces himself as Bilbo Baggins.
My husband has been reading a chapter of The Hobbit to my children one night a week. They grab their pillows and blankets and curl up on the floor of our bedroom and listen to the story.
Yesterday, my husband took them for a stroll in a wooded area near our home and they each pretended to be characters from The Hobbit out on an adventure. A couple walking their puppy, came through and my little son ran right up to them and said, “Hi. I’m Bilbo Baggins.”
I admire how little children are able to suspend reality. Without wands or spells, children can weave the most magical moments and I love being a part of it. Growing up changes all that unfortunately, but maybe it doesn’t have to.
We have a delightful widowed sister in our ward who has seen so many hardships and yet she comes to church each Sunday glowing with joy. Each of her daughters died while still young leaving her and her husband to care for the children left behind. Most recently, a grandson died still in his twenties. She's got every reason to be bitter and angry, but she continues to be an amazing lesson in humility and trust.
Her greatest joy is bringing cookies to the kids every Sunday, which she bakes in dozens each week. She's not rich and I can imagine this stretches her budget, but to watch her grin as the kids cram cookies in their mouths is priceless.
So tiny is this lady that her feet barely touch the floor when sitting. In fact sometimes I catch her swinging her feet just like a child might with some secret delight twinkling in her eyes. She’s no scriptorian and almost every comment she makes in class is the same story about how her family was one of the first families to join the church in Virginia and how the missionaries were often beaten or threatened by the people in her hometown, but how she loves the church.
She doesn’t need to preach a sermon, she’s is one:
“And said, Verily I say unto you, except ye be converted, and become as little achildren, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall ahumble himself as this little bchild, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3-4)
"But Jesus said, aSuffer little bchildren, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 19:14)
This sweet lady will never grace the pages of the Who’s Who in America nor make the circuit of talk shows as a philosophical genius, but she should. She holds some inner key to happiness that eludes the richest and wisest of folks. No it's not senility, she's completely lucid, but she has managed to embrace the beauties of childhood without the childishness. For some that ability is as imaginary as Middle Earth.
I want to be like this dear lady, and like my children who still find magic and adventure in everyday things. I suppose I've grown up too much and yet not enough.