I have two boys in my class that come everyday. They are full of joy and energy and let's just say full of need. In different ways these boys have caused my heart rate to escalate on a daily basis, but have also caused my heart to break on a daily basis. We do a combined parenting technique that I call Love and Logic meets Supernanny--except of course these kids are not MY kids and they are not the only kids they are 2 of 14 that all need love and attention all day.
So today, the day that I have been selling my kids all week, WATER DAY! As I was walking out the door with 12 bathing suit, towel toting two year olds, my co-teachers says, "I am nervous." I said me too, but I was also excited and I felt prepared. As we go outside the kids eyes are like dinner plates. I guess one girl said to her mom as she saw the water slide being inflated, "Mom, I am going to have an AMAZING day!" (She is 2) We get outside and there starts a REALLY fun time of splashing and sliding and of course being cold and wanting to get in and out of the water. It was close to perfect fun for all of our kids.
At the end of our time, we tell the kids to go to their towels, of course my to boys that I talked about in the beginning did not get out right away. And I did something I never do and that is LET IT BE. The other kids did not mind and I thought they could use a few more minutes of swimming and sliding off their energy. I sent all of the other kids in two at a time to get their clothes on and have some freetime in the classroom (with the other teacher). Finally I was down to two kids on their towels and two boys in the pool. I sent the two kids in and told the boys to get out, but at the last minute, after the two other kids went inside, I told the boys "one more slide" and I got in with them (and slid down the slide even though I was probably over the weight limit). What a moment for us. I mainly love these boys everyday, because God loves them and he reminds me just how much he loves them and how much they need love and how I am the adult. But today I loved them because I wanted to, because their joy reminded me of how things are supposed to be for kids (and adults). And even though one of them told me "I HATE YOU" about and hour later because I would not give him a bandaid, I still went home loving him. I got a glimpse of the unconditional love of God today and I am going to savor it all weekend. Because it feels good to love even when you are "hated."