"When I grow up, I want to be just like you."-Gael
The Chronicles of Narnia-Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010 motion picture)
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With the addition of Gael in 2010 release of CON: VotDT, people had mixed reviews about her.
"She's so cute!
"She wasn't in the book!"
"She's completely unnecessary to the movie!" etc.
Say what you might about her, I thought she was an interesting add. When I saw the movie for the first time, I thought it was nice to see a shy little girl walking behind Lucy, idolizing every move she makes. Then when it came to the scene where they're getting ready for the battle, the sweet little girl says something to Lucy that almost brought me to tears.
"When I grow up I want to be just like you."
Now, why would that mean so much to me?
Because I've had young girls say it to me.
I worked in a before-and-after care program at a private Christian school for a year. The age groups I was with were K-5th and so I saw a lot of diverse group of children. Needless to say, because I was a very young, and very inexperienced teacher, I somewhat endeared myself to a lot of the children, especially the girls.
It was a few months after I was working there, that I was talking to a group of second grade girls, when one of them said, "Miss Ivy, I want to be just like you when I grow up."
I thought it was a very sweet of her to say so, and I think I remember several of the other girls agreeing with her. To have a young girl say that though, is an incredible thing! I realized that I was somehow, someway, influencing the lives of these girls. So much, that they wanted to be 'just like me.'
I don't think in this day we give much though to who we influence. Of who is watching us. Or who wants to be like us. I don't know what I did or said to have the girls want to be like me. Was it because I liked playing games with them? I helped them with their homework? I would let them help me with preparing snack? Or because I would just sit and talk to them?
Regardless of the what the reasons might be, the point was, I was making a difference in someone's life. Just like Lucy was with Gael. Even though she told Gael, that she should be herself, she may have realized that she had invested in Gael courage, dignity, and faith that would help Gael find who she was later in her life.
Because society tends to age segregate, we tend to look down on younger girls as annoying inferiors. Now, I have two younger sisters. Molly is 14 and Emmy is 12 (today actually! Happy Birthday!)
So, it's not that I'm accustomed to having younger girls following me around. I like it when Molly and Emmy have the same interests that I do. I have just never understood the idea that is someone is younger than you, they should have no importance in your life. I beg to differ.
I loved being with the young girls in before-and-after care! I loved knowing that I was special in their lives. And even though I don't work there anymore, I know that there will still be girls out there waiting and watching for a good role model for them to pattern their lives after. Often times, all it takes is a kind word, a meaningful gesture, a comforting arm, or just a genuine interest in there lives.
If you show a glimpse wonder, they can reveal the entire picture of who they are and who they want to become.
And maybe it might just be...you.