Yup. I am writing about those 4 adorable, rambunctious kids again. I can’t help it. And it only seemed appropriate because I have been missing them INCREDIBLY much this week. I keep seeing pictures and updates, and finally as the months of busy learning have slowed down….I am remembering those memories. Good and bad. And all the times that I loved my job and all the times that it honestly stressed me to tears. Although, the whole time it was worth it.
So, if you strip away the genuinely happy pictures that I posted all over Facebook, you will find incredibly deep lessons that I will carry for a lifetime. So, it’s #TBT to all of those times.
There were many times in the first months of navigating my way through this new job that I forced myself to say “I love you.” The little infant could not understand me, but I needed to build a bridge and I had nothing to walk on at the beginning. She was just an infant that I took care of for 4 hours. And I said “I love you” when it was just the beginning. Pretty soon, those words became my heart and that child became a wonderful gift from God. Worth it.
Of course, there was that time that the baby cried and I cried as I held her in my arms. Although, we were crying for different reasons, we still cried together. For some reason that memory sticks so prominently in my mind. Perhaps, it was the recognition of a hard job, but the determination to somehow learn to thrive in it. Worth it.
OOh, and the speed that I could change diapers was so fast. I had it down.to.a.system. I mean, all 4 children could be done in less than 5 minutes. TA-DA! Then, they would fall (safely) into my arms and be in fits of giggles as I spun them around for one last hurrah. I would return them to their play, and sometimes they would go quite reluctantly. Hearing those tiny voices in pure laughter…worth it.
Then those hard days that combined to somehow remind me why I had the best job ever. After all, it’s the hard days that you have to watch out for. Because those are the days that you leave your job even more committed to it. I am not sure how it works. But even after some of my “I want to quit!” days, the sentiment never lasted. The hard times reminded me of the good times. The stress reminded me of the joy. The failures aided future success. So, those hard days were worth it.
Naturally, your day could not be complete without a tea time! They prepared the best tea for me and since I am becoming somewhat of a tea snob, that is quite the achievement. They would bring their finest plastic ware and the hugest grin while they served me a cup of snobby, imaginary tea. They would look at me expectantly and just wait for me to take that first sip. And it was then that I learned to always respond to a child’s gift. It doesn’t matter how small, how big, how real, or how imaginary, I learned that I must always respond to a child’s gift. “OO, this is the most delicious tea that I have ever tasted! I cannot believe you made this for me!” Those grins of pride and happiness….worth it.
Somewhere in there, I decided to teach them some things about life. Don’t whine because it is wrong and it isn’t attractive. You need to wait your turn. You count to 10 like this…1-2-3-4-5. Can you remember what comes after 7? I always loved when they got it right! And yes, we even worked with shapes, small puzzles, and zippers. I made them try on their own before helping them. I loved those small successes. While they learned those things, I learned to love unconditionally. I learned to meet the needs of others when I had zero energy and 10+ pain to deal with. I learned that limitation can’t limit love. So, while they learned to zip up a backpack and count to 5, I learned how to love them even when I didn’t feel like it. Worth it.
I miss singing that special lullaby to the little boy. He really liked a certain song and perhaps it was the tune, but he calmed down when I sang it to him. It’s our song, though he doesn’t even remember it. So, the tears and the triumph over them…worth it.
Then “SIA!” came pouring out of their mouths every other breath. “Sia. Sia. Sia.” Yes, I hear you! I loved hearing my name and the excited faces as they yelled it. Though, I found myself especially fond of the exclamation “Silly Sia!” When it comes from a 2 year old that you have loved for 2 years, there is just a certain amount of fun in hearing the way she thinks about you. “Silly Sia” Worth it.
And we grew up together, those kids and I. It was wonderful, you know. All of it was worth it. Thousands of diapers. Thousands of smiles. Thousands of giggles. Thousands of memories. Thousands upon thousands of meaningful interaction between 1 young woman and 4 adorable, crazy, lovable, rambunctious kids. How I miss it. How I loved it.
Even so, I know that being right here right now is exactly where God wants me, and I love it here too! But as the newness and adjustment has settled down, I’ve found my mind wandering to those 4 little kids and the 2 years of memories that we have stacked up somewhere in the most priceless treasure box.
Yes, indeed, all four of you are worth more than all.
And I am praying for you.