So Ashton and Isaac have become babysitters this past year and Eliza has become a great mother's helper to some families. They love love love little kids and have really loved being old enough to entertain other people's kids or babysit them. They've fallen in love with some of the little kids in our neighborhood through going to church with them or babysitting them and I don't know if there's anything that warms my heart more than seeing these big kids of mine tenderly interacting with their littlest friends.
Yesterday we decided to invite a bunch of the little kids they love over for an afternoon of stories and play and treats. Ashton, Isaac and Eliza were excited to have fun with all the kids and provide some free babysitting service for the kids' parents at the same time. One mom just had a c-section on her 5th child and has had lots of complications and one mom is pregnant with her 4th and her oldest is only 4. We figured those parents could use a break!
We had a beautiful afternoon of playing and stories and songs and treats. I was so proud of how great our kids were at entertaining and taking great care of all their little friends - even when there was crying and other little difficulties involved. I stood back for the most part and watched my kids take great care of everyone.
While the kids were here, I had a perfect Christmas moment. The youngest of the group, baby Ellie, had been fussing quite a bit and while Ashton and Isaac were doing a great job distracting her and keeping her pretty happy, I figured they were ready for a break and figured I was due for a baby-fix. I took her and sat down on the couch by the Christmas tree, rocking and shushing her. Her fussing quickly disappeared and her little body molded perfectly against me as her eyes drooped and she fell asleep, looking like a perfect angel in my arms. Isaac came and sat by me and we wondered at her tiny hands and sweet sleeping face and silky soft hair. Gradually other kids drifted into the room, quietly got books from our Christmas book basket and started reading to each other all around me. The scene was about as Christmas-perfect as it gets - a beautiful sleeping baby snuggled on my lap, my sweet kids all around me reading favorite Christmas books, all in the soft light of late afternoon enhanced by the Christmas tree lights.
I sat there in the calm and beauty of it all and remembered rocking my own babies and the rare times when they'd fall asleep in my arms. I looked at my big kids and marveled that they were once the same age and size of our cute little visitors. I had this wonderful moment when the past, present and future all seemed to be laid out before my eyes - I could see what my children were, what they are now, and what I hope they will become one day - helpful, strong, happy people who will be great parents and who'll love to serve and give.