Reading through the beginning chapters of Hebrews this weekend I was reminded yet again of God’s promise to Abraham. Hebrews 6:13-20 talks about God’s promise to Abraham, “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.” It reminded me of a sermon a few months ago on the God’s promise to Abraham and the patience and faith on Abraham’s behalf, but it was also about how God’s promise may not look like what you expect. I remember thinking about this sermon and how I too someday hope to have a family. I also remember the lesson of patience that began shortly after that sermon that I work on daily still.
My parents and grandparents retell many stories from when I was younger and my passion for taking care of “babies.” My mom likes to tell the stories of Phoebe and me taking care of newborn kittens and helping our family friend Richard with piglets when he used our farrowing building on our property. My grandfather likes to tell of the day I told him I wanted to go into medicine to be a pediatrician at the age of 6. I could go on and on with my involvement with children, I have always had a soft spot and love for them.
In the past month, two of my friends have had children of their own and I was able to celebrate that with them and spend time with the new babies. I have also had a handful of other friends announce that they are expecting or are planning to start their family. Being surrounded by my friends and their families, I have been feeling that tug of wanting to share in their excitement of my own.
Well this weekend I was thrown into the thick of taking care of children around the clock. My friend Deborah and her husband Jake have two wonderful girls, Ava who is 16 months and Kyleigh who is four weeks old. Anyone who talks to me on a regular basis hears about these little girls all the time. Well this past weekend, Jake’s older brother Adam committed his life to Jes and the entire family was part of the wedding. Mom and dad stood up for Jes and Adam and the girls were flower girls. Deborah asked for help (and an extra set of hands) with the girl’s at the wedding and of course “Auntie” Mary was there to help. I was placed of Ava duty; I was to make sure she made it down the aisle as the cutest flower girl ever and to keep an eye on her so that mom and dad could do their duties as part of the bridal party.
I had a blast helping out and loved the time I got to spend with the girls. I loved playing with Ava, making her laugh, chasing her all over the place, and hearing her say my name for the first time. I loved snuggling, watching and feeding Kyleigh. I only got to see two minutes of the actual wedding ceremony because Miss Ava was on the go and needed to run so we went inside away from the ceremony to play. For two days, I had the pleasure to see what Deborah’s life was like on a daily basis with two children under the age of two. I had the pleasure of seeing what a 16 month old is like when they only get 1 ½ hour nap for the entire day. I had the pleasure of taking care of two children by myself for a few hours. I had the pleasure of making sure I had blankies, pacifiers, diapers, snacks, sippy cups, bottles, change of clothes, toys, etc with me at all times.
I enjoyed every moment and by the time I left Sunday I was completely and utterly exhausted. Deborah kept saying “Welcome to my world.” Her father in law even commented that he couldn’t have done what I did all weekend. When I got home, I asked my mom “how did you do it? You are amazing!” (I remember a specific instance of my mother with all four of us flying to Boston to see my dad’s family. Hannah was in a carrier on my mom’s back, JC was on a kid leash, and she was holding onto to Phoebe and I with each of her hands. Not to mention carry on luggage….) I can’t remember working at the daycare being this exhausting when I was in charge of 13 kids ages ranging from 3 months to 3 years for 8 hours. I learned a few things this weekend: 1. I still love kids and will someday have my own family 2. I can’t do it alone 3. I am not ready at this point in my life for children; a few other necessary items must be in place before that happens 4. My mom was a rockstar with taking care of us kids on her own when dad was away on business trips. I know someday I will have children and it will be awesome, but at this time I am perfectly content to be “Auntie” Mary until God blesses me with a godly husband and a family of our own.