Always watching…

This is Roz from the movie “Monsters, Inc.” It’s a cute movie with the story line: kids’ laughter is more powerful than their fear. Whenever I think of someone watching, Roz’ voice pops into my head.

Recently, our Destination Imagination (DI) team went to the MN state tournament to compete. They won their regional event and this was the first time Myles’ team had gone to state. They were very excited. 10 middle school teams competed in their “Game On” challenge, but there were a bunch of kids in many categories. It was an all day event. And, any event which hosts thousands of kids and parents needs lots of volunteers. I was the volunteer for our team.

To back up a little, Destination Imagination is kind of hard to explain. The description online says, “Destination Imagination is a volunteer-led, educational non-profit organization that teaches “21st-century” skills and STEM principles to kindergarten through university level students through collaborative problem solving challenges.” Myles’ team is a group of 4 boys in 6th grade and one in 5th. They had to come up with an 8 minute “central challenge” skit. Their category was fine arts and this year it had a game theme. They chose to combine “Sorry” and “Pac-Man” to be called “Sorryman.” The kids come up with everything. From their team name, to their set design, script and costumes… it’s all their ideas. Seeing them progress over the course of 4-5 months is amazing. It teaches them problem solving skills, working together to complete a challenge, and overcoming obstacles.

So, back to the event…. the team performed and did an amazing job. My volunteer shift was in the afternoon. I needed to be the door monitor. Close the door when the team is ready to start. Open the door when they are done. Do not let anyone in during the performance. Simple, right? I had a dad ask me if his daughter was in the room. (I didn’t know the man or his daughter) At first, I thought he was joking. Then he described her – seriously? I don’t know your daughter. The thing that bothered me though was the lady who got mad at me. An adult female wanted to argue about the door being shut.

Me: “I’m sorry, you’ll have to wait until they are done.” Lady: “But my team is inside.” Me: “The door needs to stay shut during performance, you’ll have to wait.” Lady: “But my team is inside.” Someone else comes up to the tiny window. Lady (to the stranger): “She won’t let you in.”

Wow. Ok. Your kid might not have been there, but 10 other kids watched this interaction. They watched someone who didn’t think the rules applied to them get mad about rules. The same person would have been livid if someone just walked in while her kid was performing. It’s rude. Our kids are watching. Always watching. They take cues off others about how to behave. Let’s give them better examples. I’m not perfect. I have my flaws. But, I hope I’m showing my boys how to be kind. The door monitor doesn’t have a problem with you, she’s just trying to help out her team.

As much as DI teaches life skills, we also teach those skills each day without knowing. On your journey of enough, someone is always watching.

Peace be with you on your journey of enough.