*****At a time when I am left void of the smiles, giggles, and hugs from my own child I have been treated with an abundance of affection from other children in my life.
Only days after Luke's birth a few of my family members and neighbors were outside chatting and enjoying the lovely August afternoon. I sat down on our lawn and joined them. I was delighted to be joined by my 4-year-old, energetic and imaginative friend, Morgan. She usually has something exciting to to tell you, but this day she quietly joined us, crawled on my lap, and sweetly smiled up at me with her pretty, blue eyes. To see that little, angelic face so innocently smiling at me made me feel like everything would be okay.
A few Sunday's ago I was delighted to be joined by three small friends on the pew at church. There was really only room for two of them to sit by me at a time so they had to rotate to be with me. We quietly colored, looked at books, and did quiet activities together. I love that these children remember my name and were anxiously waiting their turn to get to come sit by me. I sure felt loved by them!
We were invited to dinner at Trevor's cousin's house a few weeks ago. During dinner his cousin's cute three-year-old (whom we haven't spent time with before) leaned over to her mom to inform her, "I don't like them." We laughed about her disapproval and finished dinner. After we ate, I played with the kids. By the time we were leaving I gave each child a hug and thanked them for playing with me. I was beckoned back to receive and extra kiss from the same little girl that had earlier disapproved of us. I guess she changed her mind and it was so sweet to be the recipient of this extra affection.
Spending the holiday season with my niece, Rachel has been especially wonderful. She may be asserting her opinion in her nearly-two, toddler way but I feel lucky enough that on occasion she'll let me hold her. Receiving her little hugs and kisses in the morning, before her nap time, and before bed time are some of the best times of the day. Since we've spent over two weeks with her, she has become quite accustomed to us. When we are all getting ready to leave the house or getting in the car she checks to see that everyone is coming as she asks "mommy? ....daddy? ....Tre-or? ....She-ee?" I love that we have become her friend!
On the last morning that we were in Portland, Rachel was toddling down the hallway as I got ready for the day. I stepped outside the bathroom to great her and give her a good-morning hug. Normally, her hugs are brief and she quickly continues to her course of action (blocks, pushing dolly in the stroller, or whatever else she wants to be doing). For whatever reason she stayed and sat on my lap. I quickly decided I would sit with her as long as she would let me, despite the fact that I needed to get ready to leave for church. I miss my cute niece, and feel so fortunate to have her in my life.
I am so blessed to be able to spend time with others' sweet children. Thank you for letting them be a part of my life. They are the earthly angels I need right now.