The other day I was contacted by a fellow church member and friend. She needed to know if it would be possible for me to take her place in the nursery today. Even though I actually had something planned, I readily agreed to take her place. What I had planned, while it had purpose, was not as important as this. When I say nursery, the group that I stay with, are the 2 to 4 year old children.
This morning, I got up and got ready. I didn’t cook any breakfast to begin with, but then when I realized I had a few moments, I did cook breakfast for my son. I thought it was the least I could do since he was going with me to South Carolina later. After I had that ready, I went out into the foggy morning to head to church.
Parking the car, I gathered my keys, wallet and mask and headed for the door. Stepping inside I waited while she checked my temperature then I used the mandatory hand sanitizer. Truth be told, its about the only time I use the stuff. When the first two of the kids arrived I followed them to the classroom and we began the morning.
By the time everyone had arrived, we had seven young boys. Seven young boys can create an interesting time. I was well fed with pretend foods. They made good use of the toy trucks and blocks and of course the play dough. While for the most part, they were well behaved and got along without problems, boys being boys there were a few moments. That one took this one’s truck. That one took this one’s blob of play dough. We won’t even discuss what happened when one knocked down the tower of blocks another had constructed.
In the end, after an odd and silly game of Simon Says (remember it is all 2-4 year old boys) the group was finally distracted by looking out the window and playing a game of I Spy. I had managed to get most of the toys gathered up so they can be cleaned tomorrow just before this all began.
Still, even as the last child left the room, as the lights were turned out and the room grew quiet, I walked away with the understanding that I had been given a precious gift. Time spent with the young, being reminded and witness to their energy and creativity. To see first hand how their minds work. How polite that even boys that age can be, and how readily they will apologize and try to make up for mistakes.
I left tired, but with a renewed heart. After just over an hour with these boys, I can understand better why Jesus said that we must be like children: https://www.openbible.info/topics/being_like_children
And what makes it even better? I get to do it again next week.