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  • At The Tip of The Quill

Through an Amber Glass

She was so excited, "I found buried Treasure!" Curious, I kneel down in the rough brown mulch the park's maintenance team uses under this particular swing set. The black swing, freshly abandoned, twists back and forth a bit, the natural arch of its smooth trajectory interrupted by the force of her small body having just launched sideways out of her once interesting seat. I half wondered if I'd get binged in the head. I didn't.

My eyes follow the point of her index finger, but before I am able to track her discovery, a small hand snatches its prize from in-between chipped wood and ground up dirt. She holds a small bit of amber up between her fingers with a wide grin. "See! Treasure!" - and then she does that thing she usually does when she uncovers something 'cool'. - She shares, in order to include me.

Inclusion. There's an art and science to including someone in your world. What's interesting is the mode and method for how you share your world with someone else, changes both your own personal experience as well as the experience of the other. For example, some chose to create art. Others take photographs. Some of us plague people with the written word. Then there's also Zoom Calls or those insanely long meetings to cover a topic which really could have been taken care of via an email.

Think about the difference between receiving the same information in different ways and how those methods of inclusion make you feel. A phone call is received differently than an email with different expectations on response time. It's important in the business world to be aware of which method best matches your desired outcome. It's also an important consideration in your personal world. A breakup over text vs in person can be vastly different for both parties.

It's equally important to be aware of the nuances of when and how your child desires to include you in their world. When possible, match their body language and height. Towering over them while on your phone creates an entirely different experience for both of you vs, say, being -right there- in the wood and dirt. My heart was happy to be this low. My knees were not.

"I can't believe I actually saw treasure from that high! I love how the sun dances!" There's no denying her sheer joy at her prize. But.. There was that natural part of me which wanted to reach out, snatch the beer bottle's shard from her hand; keep her safe. I squelched this impulse. She knew it was glass. She was being careful. But what about germs? My nag-mom side complained. I squelched that too. 30 seconds in her world was worth the price of silence. -- And then the motion to share with me was complete and I held the bit of glass - freely offered, and not snatched away.

She rocks back on her heels as she continues her thought. "I think the sun knew we wanted to be happy and shined right there on purpose." I nod. "Do you think the person who dropped it knew how pretty it would be in the sunlight?" I shake my head. She asks if we'll keep it forever. I say it was made for this moment and now we can let it go dance at the recycling center to be re-made with other glass to make a whole new pretty bottle. She gives a thumbs up at that idea and dashes off to the climbing wall and a whole different adventure.

I find her enthusiasm contagious. I can't help myself. I wish the little shard well as I drop it into the recycling bin.

She was right. She had found treasure after all.

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