“Hey. Watch me climb this tree.”
I remember, as a kid, always pestering adults to watch me. Watch me do a cartwheel. Watch me catch that firefly. Watch me hold my breath underwater for a really long time. Or it was, “Look at…” Look at this picture I drew. Look at the tower I built. Look at the doll dress I squeezed the cat into. (Sorry, Buster.) Now I’m in some sort of adult-type situation, but a hungry little voice inside me still begs, “Watch me. Look at me. Listen to me.”
Maybe that never changes – for any of us. We just learn to stifle it; to pretend we’re fine all alone, unnoticed and unheard. But what if it’s okay to want to be seen? What if it’s okay to bid for attention? And what if it’s okay to keep asking until we get it?
Or maybe that’s the difference between our kid-voice and our adult-voice. As adults, we learn, eventually, that if we want to be heard, we listen. If we want to be seen, we watch.
And finally it sinks in: the best way to find our kindreds is to take the risk, step into the sun, and reach out for the connection we’ve longed for our whole lives.