Just Call me Pied Sager

I’m starting to feel like the Pied Piper of Sullivan County. Too bad I can’t play a note.
I had at least four different kids come rushing my way on Saturday, while taking pictures at the annual Delaware Youth Center Christmas celebration.
Not one was mine.
Not that I’m complaining. My child was happily making her rounds of the room with Daddy following fast behind her, there to push her chair in and help glue extra eyeballs on her reindeer.
These kids were all children I’ve met over the years, kids I’ve photographed, kids who’ve come to know me as the lady from the newspaper or Jillian’s mommy (yes, their parents know me too – they’re not letting their kids loose on some stranger).
It’s the sort of experience you can’t describe, the feeling of a body throwing itself hard at your front, little arms wrapping around your waist, head burying in your hip.
There’s unequaled trust there, a letting go of all boundaries that today’s kids seem to have more of than any generation before.
Today we teach our kids to be afraid of strangers, to stick close to home, to hold tight to our hands in public.
Then we wonder why they shy away at the face of a friend of ours, why they cower behind us and refuse to answer questions with anything more than a whisper.
Kids are losing that ability to run pell-mell across a park and throw themselves at an adult. They’re losing their ability to show unabashed emotions.
Maybe it’s the holiday spirit (which seems lacking this year – and I’m not going to put that all on the shoulders of the economy, we’ve got a lot cranks about, it seems), but I get all gooey when I get a hug from a little kid who isn’t my own.
I get gooey when my own kid hugs me too, but that goes without saying.
Maybe it’s another one of those small town benefits that I’m always railing on about, the sense kids have that they’re safe around people they see on such a regular basis they might as well be an extended member of the family.
Parents often rush over, embarrassed that their kids have wrapped themselves around the leg of an adult who shares nary a drop out of their gene pool.
They needn’t worry.
I’ll take the Pied Piper title in exchange for a good hug.

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  1. Yes, I must agree! My sons know you as the lady with the camera and “Jillian’s mom”. But they love you just the same! As moms we all want to keep our identity – but let me say, being Jilly’s mom must be the coolest title in the world – WE love her!

  2. The pedistal everyone has put you on. I think your great, too. DS loves hanging out with Jillian’s mom and Jillian. What great people they are.I always hear lets invite Jillian and Jeanne.

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