It's easy to miss it. That piece of my heart that sings. That knows each moment of a busy morning is important. That stops to breathe in the scent of the baby shampoo. That understands the cry and the longing of a toddler and doesn't put him on a to-do list.
Tuesday mornings are one of the busiest times in my job. Moms bring dozens of little people in and we love them and teach them church is safe and hope they walk away with a little deeper understanding of the bible. I always look forward to it but I find myself rushing through. Checking off my to-do list. Making sure diapers get changed, no one is screaming, and everyone is safe and happy on the playground.
Some mornings, though, I get the chance to savor. I would be lying if I said I like the stand back and observe approach. Most of the time, Sundays or Tuesdays, you'll find me in a classroom. I like to be "in the action." What's that? A baby is crying? Let me hold her. A preschooler is having a rough morning? Can I talk to him? Honestly, I maybe a little too hands-on sometimes. I love it, though. I only get one or two days a week and I take advantage of them.
So the savoring...
The beginning of today was rushed. Filled with checking things off the list, making sure everyone knew all the pertinent information. Then it turned to discipline. Major, heart-wrenching discipline.
Little A was waiting. He was doing his best to try to make himself happy with other sitters. But each time he'd look over and reach for me, I didn't have the ability to take him yet. I'd say, "I promise, buddy! I'm there as soon as I handle this one more thing..."and then had to go back to the discipline and the rosters and the everyday stuff.
With less than an hour left, I grabbed Little A and we settled in. He was finally happy to snuggle in my arms. The back story is it's taken him a year to like me. Ours is a love that's rooted in hardship, in trust, in perseverance.
I held him and watched as he fought to stay upright. He was ready to sleep--something I've never seen him do in my care. I put on my favorite lullaby on repeat and we rocked and swayed. I watched his eyelids get heavy. I watched him look to me and trust me enough to lose consciousness in my arms. And I prayed over him, praying God would help Little A to know how much he loved him. That God would build him and firmly root him. And I teared up. Thinking of how much I love Little A. What a privilege it is to build relationship with him on Sundays and Tuesdays. I wondered if he would ever know there was a 30 year old woman, waiting for her little one, snuggling him, so thankful for the hope he brought. When he's my age, he probably won't know me. But I pray he knows Jesus.
I read my friend Courtney's blog today. She's in Ethiopia. She's visiting orphanages and seeing children in devastating circumstance. And she's loving them. Rocking them to sleep, singing them songs about Jesus. Praying over them. I may never know if she meets my little one. But I get comfort in knowing there are people out there, loving my little one like I would want to.
Today was one more reminder that my job is not valued in the eyes of the world. I won't get a medal. I won't even get the value of watching these children grow into adults and seeing how God uses them. But I get glimpses now. A reach and a snuggle. A kiss blown by sticky, chubby toddler fingers. A child who tells the Bible story to Mom without being prompted. And I know someday, when all the sadness has gone, I will see many of them on the other side and we can celebrate our savior together.
And my heart sings.