I grew up with three siblings, loads of kids, and I’m seasoned babysitter. I’m not naive. But kids never cease to astound. Yesterday, I had my friend’s three youngest kids, ages 9, 4, and 3.
Within a three hour time block I:
- Let them scale the parking lot handicapped signs. The 4 year old can get to the top!
- Endured a crying fit from the 4 year old because he didn’t want to leave his sister
- Lost to the little scoundrel for the sake of propriety (hey, he’s not my kid)
- Made up with him later when he came and sat on my knee
- Heard the best mis-speak from the 9 year old, “But we don’t like to go there. We’re like… scary cats…”
- Told one of them to lick his hand completely clean (better that than chocolate smeared all over my car)
- Wiped the other kid’s fingers on his shirt in lieu of napkins
- Prevented them from trolling out the window with a yoyo while we were driving home
Bless their mother.
Tell me if you ever do this. Sometimes, when I want things out of my control to be a certain way, I will do something sort of related, something I have control over, knowing full well that it won’t change the outcome of situation a. For example, a friend is running late to meet you (you can’t control), so you tap your foot or go wait outside (something you can’t control). Or
When I take my friend’s four kids to church, I want them to know how much God loves them. I just want their little hearts to grasp it. Sometimes, I want to lift one of them aloft over my head like Simba from “The Lion King” and say, “God, you want this!” I’m not sure I’m strong enough to lift up even the littlest one up this way, though.
I’m not without influence in reaching my goal of them knowing God’s love. Things like telling them about it and taking them to church should be in the right direction. But they are young, and I don’t always know how much they are thinking about what they hear. I think, “I hope this soaks up into your little memories, because you won’t be hearing this stuff back in your country!”
I know that ultimately I can’t control if they come to know God, so (I realized this today) I kiss them. When it pressure of thinking about how they might miss things gets too much (or I’m just overwhelmed by their cuteness) for me, I plant a kiss on their little head or cheek. Maybe they’ll at least get how much I love them, or maybe remember someday that one time they visited a church when they were in America and just recall the feeling of how loved they felt when they were there.
As related, the church we take them to, is named Summit. Today, when I was transferring car seats, I noticed that the brandname of the youngest’s carseat is embroidered on the back of the seat. “Summit”. See, it is written in the cars.