Journal of a Living Lady #345
Nancy White Kelly
I wiped tears from a fallen warrior and stood in the gap, protecting the wounded one from further injury. To my surprise, recovery was immediate. The two who were engaged in brotherly combat were soon sharing their cookies with each other and their favorite stuffed animals, Lambie and Bear.
Yes, Buddy and I have been baby-sitting. Charlie and Tori took advantage of the Spring Break and headed to Minneapolis, leaving each set of grandparents to take turns filling their shoes. We performed admirably considering the oldest, Micah, age four, had strep throat. He was unusually quiet and preferred my lap to his toys. Two-year old Noah, a vocal live-wire, was a non-stop dynamo.
In spite of the fact Buddy and I have raised a dozen children, birth, adopted, and foster, we felt a little inept. We quickly learned that in those ensuing years since parenting youngsters ourselves, a slow leak has occurred in our energy supply.
That first day of our baby-sitting stint we had a couple of hours of welcomed sunshine. The boys and I took a trek into the near-by woods. They walked the fallen logs and I watched for snakes.
Then the weather turned horrendously windy and cold. From then on, we were housebound. The television went on the blink leaving the boys with no cartoons or news for Buddy and me.
Thankfully an ancient repertoire of kiddie songs, poems and stories returned to my sluggish memory. Micah, Noah and I played hide-and-seek, built domino towers, fished cards with a little suction cup on a pole and blew hundreds of soapy bubbles into the bathroom sink. Buddy was good for short spurts of entertainment, but primarily worked on the Charlie’s lawn-mower. He is far more comfortable with mechanics than little children.
It became quite clear why Charlie and Tori consider seven o’clock p.m. their favorite time on the clock. It is the beginning of the boys’ bedtime ritual. Baths. Stories. Songs and finally prayers, theirs’ and then mine: “Dear God, now I lay these children down to sleep. Please keep them in bed without a peep. Amen.”
I was overly optimistic when I packed for this baby-sitting gig. I brought along my laptop computer and some books to study in preparation for teaching Sunday school. What was I thinking? By the time the magic hour arrived in the early evening, I was more tired than the children. Who could concentrate when every adult-level brain cell had shut down from inactivity? I foolishly procrastinated with a silent promise. Tomorrow I’ll study, but a tomorrow, with time to spare, never came.
We survived our days with the grandchildren without any major incident. Unfortunately Buddy and I are now sick ourselves. Our grown kids got a needed break and we will recover. It's hard to not want to be part of this stage of our grandsons' lives. Before we blink they will be teenagers.