Chocolate and flowers seems to be the theme of this last week. My friend – a pastor in Zambia – wished me a Happy birthday and Lord’s blessing over me. But you know what I realised? I’m already blessed. It’s nice to get chocolate eggs and to come home to find a bunch of pretty flowers on your doorstep, but the friendships I have mean much, much more to me.
Saturday afternoon was a blessed time. Sure, it wasn’t so great that Mr Teapot threw up all over himself and the sofa just as his parents were leaving the house (though I am sincerely glad that it happened BEFORE they left…and I rather calmly went upstairs to get him a clean outfit while they disposed of the pukey things!!). But my favourite moments were sitting round the kitchen table eating apple talking about Easter and the days they were born and playing with Cars 2 play-dough. Elastatoddler sitting on my lap with his Spanish/French workbook from school and asking me to show him how to count in French and Spanish. (And me being seriously thankful we had a workbook. Because I’ve forgotten pretty much all my French and Spanish!!)
Perhaps the funniest part was while trying to put clean clothes on Mr Teapot and Elastatoddler appeared with a gift bag and card.
On the envelope it said ‘Laurie’.
He pointed to it and said “It says Laurie, but that’s really your second name“.
“What’s my first name then?” I asked him
“Auntie.” he replied quite matter of factly, looking at me like I was very silly for not knowing what my ‘first’ name is.
“You’re Auntie Laurie. Auntie is your first name, and Laurie is your second name” he told me.
And he is right. That’s why I don’t mind changing pooey nappies and wiping poopy bottoms. It’s why I feel proud when I’m told ‘Auntie Laurie I need the toilet‘ after the little accident that had happened earlier in the afternoon. It’s why I don’t get phased by them crying/shrieking when they don’t get their way (though a deep breath to remain calm and pray for one’s ears may sometimes be required). It’s why I have shoes covered in red and blue play dough. It’s why I smile when I see their joy at the simple fun of making someone ‘disappear’ by throwing a towel over them or when 2 brothers play together taking turns with their favourite toys (as opposed to fighting because they don’t want to share). It’s why I don’t leave until I know they are ok when they run and leap face first into a toy fire station and bust their lip and chin just as I’m about to leave the house with an ‘¡Adios Auntie Laurie!’
It’s also why I believe my parenting friends just may be superheroes for doing these things all day, every day for years and years.
Every time I spend time with these boys, I wonder what they’ll grow to be and do in the world, and I think how lucky I am that my friends let me be part of their lives and even trust me to take care of them (for a few hours at a time)!