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The Wisdom of Nursery Rhymes: Finding the Lost

August 12, 2012

I used to read a lot of fancy literature. I am an English major and an English teacher. I read classics for fun and would prefer to read “The Iliad” or War and Peace over most popular fiction. I am a lit. snob. Whatever. I admit it.

But now I have kids and leisurely afternoons to really get into a great piece of literature are gone and I read a lot of children’s stories….and you know what? They are amazing. Most words that get handed down through generations are amazing. There really is nothing new under the sun. I mean…whenever I have what I feel is a super profound thought, I find that someone else who is much smarter than I has already trademarked it and if it is a really good thought, many super smart people across many generations have been trying to get the message out over and over before it finally got into my head. Children’s stories are not any different. A lot of them have really amazing wisdom in them and our society is kind of built on the stories we all know and share in our collective experience as children.

I read a lot of children’s stories now and sometimes they bring me to tears with what they stir up in me.

My friend Linnea Lomax disappeared on June 26th, 2012. She is 19 years old and one of the most lovely people I know. I love her family dearly and it hurts intensely to know that they are in pain and it also hurts to not be able to help. We don’t know where Linnea is or why she is missing. She walked out of a mental health appointment for a lunch break and never came back. She left her phone and wallet behind and left no trace or message as to her whereabouts or safety. The situation is terrifying.

I read the updates on her everyday. I read the comments people write. Some say the search is too intense and to leave her alone; that she will come home on her own.

This is all that runs through my mind when I see these comments: “Leave her alone and she’ll come home.”
It sounds like a wise thing to say. We all know these first four lines and we have all been told since our earliest moments on our mother’s lap, if you lose something you love, leave them alone and they will come home.
But do we ever read further? I did because Little Bo Peep leaving her sheep alone did not bring them home:
She woke in the night hearing her babies crying, thinking they were home, but they were still lost. How many nights have Maya and Craig Lomax woke up thinking that their baby girl was home only to find she is still lost? Little Bo Peep and the Lomaxes understand each other. You can’t sleep soundly when your baby is lost.
(Curse words edited out by me)
It’s ok Billy. Bo Peep got off her a$#:
She got up and she searched and she found her babies and they were broken. And her heart broke to see them hurt and incomplete.
When Linnea is found, she may be broken. And her parent’s hearts will break like Bo Peep’s did, but will they stop there in their brokenness. Nope. They will keep going until their baby is restored and so did Bo Peep:
Bo Peep had a long struggle to get her sheep back to her and she had to keep working even after they were home make them whole. And they will all have scars for life; Bo Peep and her sheep were forever changed by this event.
Linnea’s family and friends also cannot stop and wait for Linnea to come home. And when they find her, they cannot stop then either. They will hold her and cry with her and they will help her heal. And we will all carry the scars from this; Linnea and all who love her will never forget these times when she was lost but the scars will be a reminder of the joy of her homecoming very soon.
So what did I learn from Little Bo Peep? When you lose someone you love, you don’t wait for her to come home. You go out and search and you don’t stop searching until your precious one is completely home, tail and all.

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