My turn again. A long time ago, I signed on to help in the church nursery. Times have sure changed since then.
When I first agreed to help, you just went in and helped. Since then they have begun doing background checks and now of course you must wear a facial covering. That may be ending soon, depending on how things go.
I help with the two to four year olds. Sometimes there are two children, some times, a room full. No matter how hard you try, a room full of children that age, can make a lot of noise. Currently services are being held in the family life building so nursery pretty much had the building to itself. As the virus has been slowly coming under some form of control, things are slowly moving back toward the main building. Until then, the kids in nursery, play…loudly.
And that is not so much a bad thing. As long as no one else is being disturbed, play loudly children.
The toys in the room have changed. There are currently no books to read and no stuffed toys or dolls. Those can’t be cleaned easily afterwards. There are however, toy trucks, tools, cooking utensils and animals of various sort. Along with giant lego type blocks. Enough one would hope that would keep children occupied. No.
The room is large enough, but seems much smaller when toys litter the floor. They want to run, you can’t run. They run. Around and around and around the table in the room. You get them to stop running, they want to dance. Or chase bubbles. I really don’t recall seeing bubbles last time I was in the room. Shoving trucks across the floor they all want the same truck, or hat, or tool or what ever toy another is playing with. That’s normal right? One will get distracted and begin bringing pretend food. One will leave one toy for another but when someone picks up the neglected toy, they want it back. (I won’t mention how that sounds like some adults. Oh, I guess I just did)
Sometimes, a child will come in who is unhappy to be left, uncomfortable in a room of strangers. Allowing them to watch and take their time about joining in has most often worked. Usually before the hour is up, they are running or pushing trucks or building miniature towers right along with the rest.
While this is meant to give the parents a safe place to leave their children while to attend worship, it is much more. The children are given time to socialize with others. The children are allowed to have fun. These children at such a young age are incredibly intelligent even as they are still children with children moments.For me though, it is a gift. It is the gift of spending time with the young. It is getting to watch and listen and get in there and play again. Watching them take blocks and create, watching them color and design. Watching them period. It is watching the innocent learn how to play nice with others when the not so innocent comes out. It is feeling the fleeting hug of a happy child. It is the love that is unique to childhood.
Volunteering in nursery isn’t a job, its a blessing. It also gives me greater understanding when Jesus told His disciples to allow the children to come to Him. For such is the Kingdom of Heaven.https://www.biblehub.com/matthew/19-14.htm
This is short, I need to go get ready, play time is soon and the big kid in me is ready to play.