Hamel: Happy Journal #30

Opinion Editor Peyton Hamel revels in the wonderment children have about the world, challenging herself to do the same. 

Peyton Hamel

I work with children ages 5 to 12 when I coach tennis, ranging from beginner to intermediate skill levels. Last week, I was working with a tennis and swim camp, mainly with a group of little boys that were extremely eager to begin playing tennis — or in their world, a variation of baseball on a condensed, hardened field. 

At the beginning of every class, I do try to hoax the kiddos into feeling comfortable by asking a few questions (and get to know their names because I absolutely know I will have to reprimand them for hitting the tennis balls outside of the court): name, age and superpower. 

You hear those typical powers of flying, invisibility or telekinetic abilities. One little boy was particularly quiet and shy the whole week, and he told me he really didn’t have a preference to what superpower he wanted. So, I told him to think about it overnight and tell me the superpower the next day. 

The next day at the very end of the lesson, the little boy comes up to me and says, “I have my superpower!” I then continue to probe him for an answer. I am genuinely excited because I know he’s a very thoughtful kiddo. 

“I want to see color because I’m colorblind.”

I nearly cried when I heard that answer, and I felt a little sad. Luckily, there is technology that will allow him to see color one day. I also broke the rules: I hugged him in the middle of a pandemic. (*gasp*) I know. 

On the other end of the spectrum, there is also a little girl in my class that was telling me about a little ghost boy who lives in her room. I, of course, asked if she talked to him. 

I am not a strong believer in ghosts, but I do have a suspicion in the existence of paranormal activity. If it exists, I am not messing with it. Not at all. Better safe than sorry. 

She replies, “He told me he loved me, and he also said that he couldn’t wait for me to die so we could be together.” Now that scared me. I didn’t know how to respond or what to do. If ghosts are real, she is in serious danger. Right?!

I am always astounded by the belief children have in our world and the things among it. (What happened to our wonderlust?) They remind me to believe in the better half and wonder about what I don’t know or revel in what I do know. Last week was a torturous week, but my wonderlust didn’t disappear. 

If you know me, you know my mind never stops running. I’m always thinking about the philosophies of our world, how everything is connected and what in the world I can do with it. It keeps me going, really, knowing there is something I can do with all the things this world has to offer. I challenge you to do the same. It can be fun, if you let it.