Thursday, October 23, 2008
No one ever told me that raising kids would be easy. In fact, most of the stories I've heard from all of my best friends have been the same. Rule # 1- Having kids requires a great deal of patience. Sort of like the patience you need when you're standing in line at the Dept. of Motor Vehicles or sitting on the highway during rush hour traffic. All of which, could be said to be slit your wrist moments. Okay maybe not that severe but we've all been there. Anyhow, I'm a single person whose been in more weddings than I care to disclose. In fact, I've been an honorary member of "the bridesmaids gold club" for years. I also have no children. Yet, by all accounts I am an auntie for children all over the world and I wear this badge with pleasure. Therefore, every now and then I get this overwhelming desire to see life on the other side. Last night, was one of those times and I took this task on with open arms. I would leave work, make a mad dash to Fed Ex to drop a few packages off then drive home to change. I had made a date with one of my best friend's daughters then decided at the last minute to invite a playmate for her too. We were headed to see a play at a local church. Everything was going so well that I could even hear the sounds of baby cries and rattles echoing in the background. Hmph, this baby thing might not be so bad after all. I have no idea why my friends make such a big deal out of this. They obviously haven't gotten this patience thing down pat yet. I guess I'm gonna have to give them some advice after the play. Whisper..whisper....giggle..giggle...(loud laughs and chatter are now filling the air). It's okay...their teenagers, I tell myself. But as the night continued the conversations grew and I could feel the mist of patience slowly beginning to fade. Are they trying to test me? Can they smell the scent of rookieness? For the first time in my life I was starting to feel the pain of "child burn" and there was no remedy for it. These kids were in my possession for the rest of the night. I was their guardian and responsible for their every move. Moves that were tested when an altar call came and both of them leaped at the chance to give their lives to God. I watched from a distance as they bowed their heads to pray and then followed other audience members into a holding room to receive further instruction. Surely, they'll be okay I thought to myself. This is the house of God. He knows all our needs. As I reached the bottom of the stairs to proceed toward the exit doors I noticed that my two step daughters had suddenly disappeared. How can this be possible? It's only been 5 minutes. Now I was beginning to feel the pain of "child burn" again only this time it was moving toward my chest. My hands became sweaty and I could see the silver handcuffs in the hands of the officers who were coming to get me. After searching frantically through the lower area and patio outside I was certain that I had lost them. Hopeless, I retraced the steps we made when we first arrived and to my surprise there they stood, totally undisturbed by the darkness and strangers that lurked around them. That night I learned a very valuable lesson. Keep your cell phone on at all times, wear comfortable walking shoes, keep a cool head and always expect the unexpected. In dew season, I'll be ready to commit to all these things but until then I'll limit my invitations.