In Anne of Green Gables (or maybe –of Avonlea), Anne laments to herself that when her dearest friend, Diana, has entered one of Anne’s short stories in a contest for Rolling’s Reliable Baking Powder, having inserted a line to qualify, she feels as if her baby has been tattooed.
This afternoon, watching the talent show at my little elementary school, I felt like many of my babies (my 1st – 6th grade students) had been tattooed. These little ones danced to Kanye West, Katy Perry, The Wanted, Lady Gaga, and One Direction (among others). The saddest lyric to which one dear girl danced, “hand you another drink, drink it if you can.”
Friends. Our 6th graders are miming giving each other liquor.
Yes, of course, it’s just miming, and most of the babes probably don’t even understand what they’re singing and dancing to, but these words and attitudes are tattooed onto their minds, and I wonder how their minds are being shaped. Now, it wasn’t all the students (one group of fourth graders sang and played to “Oh When the Saints Go Marching In”), and the dear girl who danced to The Wanted’s song (“Glad You Came”–whence springs the lyric above) is by far the most talented dancer (it was jazz choreography, serious stuff–says the veteran-dancer-author) at the school, but I mourn these children’s innocence in many ways.
Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of haven.” (Matt. 19:14) I can’t help but think that the Kingdom of Heaven gets harder to see when our children stop being children.