God has blessed me with a part-time job at a Christian daycare. While I'm not very good at communicating with little kids, it's something I want to get better at. So I practice. Every day. And some days I succeed. Other days...well, it might have been better for me to have stayed home. But every job is like that. And I'm finding out that working at a daycare is more than a job. It's a stewardship. I don't shuffle papers around and file reports all day. I take care of little people...and I feel the weight of that responsibility. They are souls that need shepherding and they are looking to me for some of that.
Mostly, I just work in the afternoons. I take care of the snack room and then play with (and discipline) the kids for a few hours until their parents pick them up. But on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I cover a 6:30 to 8 AM shift. This one is interesting. It's an hour that I don't normally use to converse with adults...much less children who require longer explanations since they assume nothing normal. It's funny. I don't think I'm a hyper-logical person. But I guess I do function within the confines of an orderly universe. Some kids just don't. And their comments are a little past my ability to comprehend at 6:30AM. Here is an example of one such conversation...
Child: Why are you wearing that necklace? (it has a charm on it in the shape of a bird)
Me: Because I like birds.
Child: No you don't like birds. Do you like fast birds?
Child: Slow birds?
Child: Big birds?
Child: Little birds?
Child: If a bird is hurt, will you help it fly again?
Me: I don't know how to help birds. I'm not a veterinarian.
Child: Yes, you do. You just have to pick it up. It will fly. Do veterinarians wear hats?
Me: I guess sometimes they do.
Child: Then my mom is a veterinarian.
Me: I thought your mom was an the police force..?
Child: No. My mom wears hats. My mom was a cowgirl, tomorrow. Where did you get that pencil?
Me: My friend bought if for me.
Child: No she didn't.
Me: Yes she did.
Me: Her name is Zoe. And she did buy me this pencil.
Child: You don't like Zoe.
Me: Yes, I do.
Child: What is her name?
Me: Her name is Zoe. And she bought me this pencil!
Child: I had a bad dream last night. So my mommy let me sleep in her room.
Me: Oh. We're you scared?
Child: Yes. But then she made me leave. She said I was talking too much.
Me: Do you think you talk too much?
Child: I LIKE TALKING!
On one occasion I asked a boy why he had just done something that he clearly knew was against the rules. His response: "Because I'm awesome!"
I had to restrain myself from laughing until I was by myself. The truth is, that answer won't work in the real world. But it is pretty hilarious.
I'm told that being with children is healing. I think it's true.