Meet Miracle Edwards.
Miracle is a beautiful 8-year-old girl I met over the summer with her father. She had never seen a ballet or anything like it before, and I thought it would be a wonderful idea to treat her to a performance.
Preparing for the Big Day
I called her father, Jeff, several times and left messages but didn’t connect. I let some days pass and was about to call again when my phone rang. It was Jeff, returning my call.
He and Miracle had talked about it and she decided she’d be happy to go to a performance with me. I said that I’d see what was playing and get back to them with a plan. I found tickets to the Magic Flute at the New Victory Theatre near Times Square. That theatre caters to children. In addition, the production was performed by a South African troupe. So while it was an opera rather than a ballet, it was likely to be a good choice.
And last Sunday, Jeff and Miracle came over. After a bit of talk, Miracle took my hand and off we went.
A Special Souvenir
On the way to the theatre, Miracle proudly showed me the two dollar bills she had rolled up tightly in her pocket. She was very excited about having money of her own. So when she saw a “mood ring” in the little children’s shop at the theatre, I let Miracle spend her own two dollars rather than paying for it myself.
I did, of course, pay for everything else, but it seemed important to Miracle that she was able to spend her own money on something special.
That little mood ring on her finger was her pride and joy. She checked the color again and again, comparing it to the color/mood chart that had come with the ring. Then she would tell me with great glee how she was feeling according to the mood ring.
And when we got back home and her dad came to pick her up, the mood ring was the very first thing she told him about.
I wonder if she would have been as excited about it if she hadn’t used her own money to buy it. There’s something powerful about having one’s own money and making one’s own buying decisions that, even for an 8-year-old girl, is empowering.
I think that when we go on our next adventures together, I’ll give Miracle some pocket money that she can spend on whatever she wishes (or not spend at all). That way, our excursions won’t cost Jeff anything, but Miracle will still have a sense of making her own decisions about what she wants to buy.
A Perfect Day with a Perfect Guest
To round out the story — Miracle was a perfect guest.
She was polite, responsive, cheerful and curious. Neither of us enjoyed the production very much, so we left at the intermission. An hour of poorly sung Mozart was plenty. But we both had a good time and we’ll surely get together again.
Next time, we’ll go to an afternoon matinee and perhaps Jeff and Miracle will join me and my husband for supper. Jeff mentioned that he’s had a hard time learning to cook since Miracle’s mother died.
Maybe I’ll send some spaghetti sauce home with them.
Reach Out to Someone Outside of Your Normal Circle
There’s a richness in finding a way to help other people that’s respectful and appropriate. It’s hard to find the boundaries. But the effort will expand your heart in a gentle, quiet sort of way.
What experiences have you had reaching out to those outside of your usual circles? Share your stories in the comments.