Sandpits and Phoenix Cups

With the red plastic rake in his miniature hands, James irons out the sandpit, quiet and contemplative, snaking the lines as though it were a zen garden. Sam watches on curiously, uncertain as to why James is not being the same monster truck driver he was before morning tea.

“Miss Erica.” Sam say’s, not taking his eyes off James.

“Why isn’t James playing with us anymore?”

“James feels like playing on his own for a little while, that’s all."

Sam’s brow tightens “Does he not like us anymore?"

With a warm smile that extends down her fingers, and combs through his auburn locks, Erica replies “Of course James still likes you, he just needs a moment to himself right now.”


“Because James really likes his own time sometimes. This doesn’t mean he doesn’t like you. He loves playing with you too. Sometimes, though, he really likes his time by himself… It’s how he fills up his big Freedom Cup.”

Sam finally pulls his gaze away from James, and up into Miss Erica’s hazel half-moons. “What Freedom Cup? Do I get a Freedom Cup?”

Miss Erica lets out a chuckle, but Sam can’t see what is so funny.

“James isn’t even holding a cup… his holding that dumb rake.” He says.

Though James never overheard his name in the conversation, the mention of the rake steals his attention. “Oh, hey Sam. Want to play Monster Trucks again?"

Sam doesn't hear his request. He asks “Where is your Freedom Cup?”

“I don’t have a cup… I have a rake.”

The bewilderment on both children’s faces brings another chuckle from Miss Erica. “I have a really fun game we can play later that will show you what the Cups are, and what they mean. This game can help you find ways to fill your own Cups.”

“But I don’t have a cup.” Protests Sam.“Yes, you do. You have a great big Connection Cup. You just can’t see it because it isn’t a real-life cup. It is like an imaginary cup. In fact, we all have cups. Five of them in fact…. Come with me to the table and I will get the Phoenix Cups cards, and we will all play a fun game which will teach you lots and lots of all your Cups.”

To Be Continued...


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