By Sister Carolyn Mary
Last week as I was finishing up work, I got a call inviting me to Chuck E. Cheese to have dinner with three little people. I met them at the entrance to the restaurant and helped their Nonna (Italian for grandmother) with getting them settled.
We began with everyone wanting something different on their pizza. Nonna knew just what to do: “we will get pineapple and ham on one side and pepperoni on the other.” The two oldest, Jerry Ryan and Mallory, were happy but their 2 1/2 year old brother Jonah, wanted cheese so cheese it was on a small pizza.
Next came the tokens. Making sure everyone had the same amount was my job. Counting them out and putting them in a cup for each to carry as they played the different games and won tickets to get some treats later. Finally they were off and running.
I was tired just with all we had done but not Jonah he had a different plan for me. Come Aunt Collie, a nickname my music teacher gave me in high school that has followed me through life. Unlike his big brother and sister his thrill was in putting the tokens in the machine and watching them light up the board. Never mind he didn’t know how to play any of them, the simple joys of childhood.
Two hours later we gathered the troops, cashed in their tickets for candy and some toys. Jonah’s older siblings made sure they shared their winnings with their little brother. Finally, we made it to the car so Nonna could take them home.
As I drove home that night I found myself reflecting on how innocent children can be. Their simple joy over the smallest of things was a refreshing change from the difficulties my clients struggle with. As tired as I felt when they called me I was leaving them now feeling refreshed. Thanks kids! Jonah you can pull me around Chucky Cheese anytime you want.