Within five minutes of my bags being down in my room, my five-year-old host sister was comfortably planted in front of them, rummaging. No, she wasn’t even trying to be sneaky about it – it was as though she simply had no concept of the ‘don’t go through other people’s stuff without permission’ societal rule of conduct. And it somehow had me be completely okay with her doing it. (Maybe I enjoyed her sense of freedom to be herself – in this case curious – and to do as she wished.)
I sat down next to her and the bags, and helped her rifle through… I demonstrated how certain things worked and what others were (she didn’t really like my strong oil blend, but she loved my sunglasses). I helped her count as she went through my money (turns out I had nine bills in my wallet, and 12 cards/other papers).
By the end of our time passing back and forth the contents of my coinpurse (We really ought to match up all foreign language learners with little kids- it is ridiculously helpful. I helped her identify the amounts on the coins, and she told me how to say the counters in Japanese counting.), we had thoroughly connected with one another. There was a real sense of trust and comfort that hadn’t been there before the joint perusal of my backpack and purse.
It had me wonder: What if we did this on a normal basis? What if we went through our bags with our friends and family? How much closer to and authentically loving of one another could we be if we had to share the contents of our purses and backpacks and wallets with one another?
I don’t have an answer, but I’d like to try it out, because that was just wonderful today. And we had an amazing day together afterward (I literally carried her around almost half the day, she wouldn’t let me go.).
Also, side fact: I love that the world handed me a sort of hugs galore this weekend. I have missed love and hugs, and I was given a weekend with three little kids, one of whom sometimes just clings to me like a baby monkey. The happy neuropeptides in me are reaching their formerly standard level this weekend. 🙂
Day 5 of 40