It’s playtime bigtime.
Tina has set up an animal shelter in the hall with a soft red children’s chair, a vinyl mat folded into a tent, and a blue mat for a gate. She lets in the “grassosaurs” (you guessed it–they eat grass) and the “humposaurs” which, despite their sharp teeth and hooks, don’t fight with the grassosaurs.
We each have a phone. (Mine’s attached to a cash register.) I call Dinosaur Central and report sightings of T Rex, stegosaurus, brontosaurus (a herbivore, but dangerous to our shelter because of its size), and icthyosaurus.
Tina has me document the various types of dinosaurs in her shelter. Add to the humposaur and grassosaur the keenosaur, pretty grassosaur, pretty humposaur and a variety of other saurs. Documentation is difficult; I’m to write the names of these creatures on a piece of blue construction paper in crayon on the bed (just try it!). Tina finally finds a light orange that shows up the best. Then she hands me another scrap of paper and gray glitter paint for noting additional information.
How tenderly she scoops up the baby grassosaurs and carries them to the shelter! And how swiftly she pursues their enemies until they’re outside the gate.
We have a little problem at clean-up time. Tina wants all the documents as well as the instruction books and other necessary tools all zipped up in a little make-up case. I help her pack them in, but the end of the zipper is broken off. “It’s broken,” I tell her, trying to think of another case that would work.
Not Tina. This inventive daughter of a mechanic has other ideas. She comes out of her bedroom with a fine little chain, hooks it around the end of the zipper and pulls till the case is shut.
I marvel, and I remember what the Apostle Paul said about the body being made up of many different parts. He was talking about spiritual gifts, but God has given us all of our talents and abilities.
“A body isn’t really a body, unless there is more than one part. It takes many parts to make a single body. That’s why the eyes cannot say they don’t need the hands. . . .”
I Corinthians 12: 19-21a (Contemporary English Version)
We humans need each other, and Tommy and Tina occupy a place in my heart built just for them.