When I consider the little girl that lives within me, I love watching her come alive and become overflowing with joy! One of her most favorite days ever took place on a spontaneous road trip to see a band (she had never heard of) in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This little girl was woo’d and invited to play, wonder, and find fullness in the midst of a season that was hard, heavy, and confusing.
October is my little girl’s favorite month and it was the most perfectly sunny, brisk and yet warm, not-a-cloud-in-the-sky kind of day. It was still warm enough to not wear a jacket but not scorching hot. The little girl in me loves wearing her “play” clothes. For my little girl, this means bib overalls with frayed knees and wide rolled-up cuffs. When she puts this outfit on she comes alive and is ready to take on a new adventure!
Her day began with a farm-to-table brunch where she feasted on eggs, thick juicy bacon and warm sweet potato hash. She loves a good brunch that is accompanied by copious amounts of good coffee and served with a side of friends who bring connection and delight.
After the delicious breakfast this little girl and her friends happened upon some scooters which brought a deep exhilaration to her heart. Her friends loved scootering around as well so this just made it more fun! The girls scootered around the streets for what seemed like hours. They zipped down the middle of the road with not a care in sight. They laughed and shouted at one another because all their little girls had come out to play. The feeling of delight and freedom that comes from scootering around a new city is off the charts for my little girl. When she is on a scooter she feels like she is flying!
Because it was October, the trees were full of bright colored leaves and slowly dropping them like snow falling from the sky. My little girl loves fall and especially leaves. The sweet surprise to her was that these weren’t the same kind of leaves she was used to seeing back home in Minnesota. These leaves were giant, like the size of her face. Her heart leaped as she passed the giant leaves and she began to collect them to take them home as memories. She was in awe and wonder of the gigantic beauty that was given to her.
The day was already named perfect in her eyes, but more joy was awaiting her. As the girls scootered along, they came across a playground. As they got closer, the playground grew larger and larger. This playground gave the invitation for everyone both young and old to adventure in curiosity and playfulness.
It seemed as if everyone had stopped being their actual age and each one’s inner child came out to play. There were no cares or worries in anyone’s eyes. Everyone seemed to just enjoy the moment. Families were gathered at tables enjoying meals together and children were running around embracing their whimsy and innocence.
My little girl had never seen anything like this. It was as if she had stepped into heaven.
She hopped off her scooter and began to take in the enormous playground that lay before her eyes. There were really tall slides and bridges to cross over and places to crawl up into. As she wandered into the playground with her friends trailing behind she saw adults sliding down slides, laughing, and playing with kiddos. The whole experience was surreal.
Her friends played for a bit until they excused themselves to take naps on the lawn in the sunshine. While her friends enjoyed their rest and taste of heaven, she delightfully took advantage of getting to pick and choose what to climb on, slide down, and crawl into. Even though my little girl played on the giant playground alone, she felt so connected to Jesus. As she flew down the long tunnels she laughed and cheered to hear the sound of her voice making an echo of joy.
Her day continued to grow more incredible. There were food trucks, not just a couple but almost 20! They offered all kinds of flavors and smells and tastes. She ordered an avocado lime popsicle and indulged in all the flavors the frozen treat gave her. She was in heaven and she didn’t want this to end.
My little girl holds onto that day with memories of abundant joy and delight. It was an invitation — to play, taste and see, and wonder. The people, the places, and everything in between is what this little girl continues to hold and name as “her perfect day.”
Sandhya Oaks is a passionate speaker, advocate, writer and reconciliation leader. Born in India, and adopted as a Transracial Adoptee in Wisconsin, Sandhya is now based out of the Minneapolis Area. She has served for more than 12 years in campus ministry with Cru. Sandhya works with the Lenses Institute and is also the Co-Founder of The Adoption Triad, a social media platform to connect, teach, and resource individuals connected through adoption and foster care. She is deeply passionate about helping people experience the fullness of life through story work. Sandhya is fiercely committed to developing the next generation of leaders, racial reconciliation, and discipleship.