You know, I’m over 55, but I won’t be stopping my work with children any time soon! And mostly for selfish reasons.
For example, when your own are grown up, you miss the sense of “holiday”, when the summer comes. (In fact, all the special holidays are sharpened when you work with kids, since you must do something to highlight/celebrate each one!) I just realized that there are only three weeks left of this year’s Midweek Kids (unless they twist our arms to somehow keep it going past the May long weekend, which they might yet!) And it gives me that happy feeling of Summer Coming.
Another amazing thing of working with kids, is watching them grow from year to year. One of our Wednesday girls has been coming out for about 5 years. She was quite small and a little shy when we first knew her. Now she’s not so shy… but actually she’s still kind of small, short like her cheery mom. She and her mom used to come to church on Sundays fairly often, but had stopped for awhile. Her mom spoke to me a few months ago, saying that she couldn’t get her daughter to come on Sundays. I teased her about keeping her mom from church, and now they’ve been coming again since Easter Sunday.
So last Sunday was my turn to teach. There are now two “older” kids coming on Sundays, who I worry about enjoying the kids’ program, which tends toward younger aged kids. So I try to make these two (she’s in grade 4, and the other guy is grade 6) the official Helpers as much as possible (not sure what the other teachers do). However, the younger ones can be quite unruly and difficult to handle.
This time one of the activities was to create-your-own-puppet show. It worked out that each of my Helpers could have two younger kids (grade 1-3) in their group, and of course I divided the most “rambunctious” pair. These two boys often refuse to hear what you’re saying unless you grab them by the arm, and many times you end up chasing them around the room before you can do that!
Anyway, this has been a long way coming to it, but just to say that I was amazed at how B. grabbed the “little” gr. one guy, who was actually almost taller than she, and said “You! Come!” And he listened to her! :D And you can’t blame me for being amazed, when she doesn’t even have any younger brothers and sisters at home!
“Meanwhile, friends, wait patiently for the Master’s Arrival. You see farmers do this all the time, waiting for their valuable crops to mature, patiently letting the rain do its slow but sure work. Be patient like that. Stay steady and strong. The Master could arrive at any time.” (James 5:7-8)