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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Night Games

I'm going to tell you something I shouldn't. The last few months I have been grudgingly enduring my position as a Cub Scout leader. When asked if I would do it, I accepted, and I have been grateful for the extra experiences with my boys (like cub camp, which turned out to be really fun). 

But when it comes right down to it, I am not very good at the job, and I am just plain awful at being in charge of other peoples' kids. I am a good daycare provider, which is my current job, but I have never been good at taking charge of groups of kids. The last few weeks especially, I have been resenting my obligations to the cubs. This is something I shouldn't admit, probably, but there it is. I know I'm not the first person to feel this way. 

So here I am tonight, lying on my mom's bed, in a terrible mood. It's 8pm. The boys have been inside all day, haven't even changed out of their pajamas all day. We just finished watching a movie and I am about to say "go get ready for bed", because I have run out of energy. Besides, it's after eight, and they are getting less patient with each other by the minute. 

Our doorbell rings. 

Ugh. Who is that? 
I don't want anyone seeing us all in our pajamas.
I have no makeup on. How embarrassing.
Who would be ringing the doorbell anyway? The only people who come over are family, and they just walk in. 
It's probably another sales person, and I am so not in the mood. 

"I'll get it!" Asher yells, and runs for the door. 

Ugh. I hate it when they answer the door. 
They know they aren't supposed to open the door before I get there, in case it's a stranger. 
They never listen to me. 

But then I turn the corner, and there are eight or ten kids on my porch. 

There are kids on my porch. It occurs to me that neighbor kids have never come to my door. 
Hey, I know a few of those kids. They're my cubs! 
"Hi guys!" 

"Hi. We were wondering if Josh and Asher could come play Night Games."

I'm grinning like an idiot. They are looking at me like it's creepy. 
But I can't stop smiling. 
No one has ever come to my house and invited my kids to play. 
A few times they have been invited by parents, like a play date, but even that I could count on one hand. 

Asher runs to get dressed and runs out the front door. "Bye!" 
Josh just stands at the top of the stairs. 
"Josh, do you want to go play with them? It will be fun!" 

Oh no. What if he doesn't go, and they don't ever invite him again? 

"What even are 'Night Games', Mom?" He looks scared. 

I always wished the neighbor kids would invite me to play Night Games. I always heard about it later and realized all the neighbor kids were friends with each other. I was sure Night Games were the key to the friendship. 

My kids could have friends!

The boy at the front says, "We'll show you. There's lots of games and they're really fun. We can teach you." 

And my Mama heart exploded. 

I rushed my kids out the front door tonight, after 8pm, when I would usually be shuffling them off to bed in frustration. 
My kids are outside. With friends. 

And do you know why? Because the Cubs knew who they were. Because they weren't afraid to come to my house and ask. Because I did what I didn't want to do.

2 comments:

  1. Hopefully I didn't just comment 3x, not familiar with commenting on blogs. You just made me cry, this post was beautiful. It is so easy to be lazy and just let the kids play with whoever shows up, this was thought provoking and I'm so glad the kids came and got yours. As for Cubs, I have to agree that it's not one of those things I would have done without being asked but am so glad for the friendships that come out of it and the blessings of throwing ourselves into our work. Thanks for hanging in there! Love you Aubrey!

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  2. Food stamps are a disgrace. It's not above the US govt to give a couple of dollars to the poorest in society so that they are not vilified, discriminated against and abused when they go to buy essential groceries. Some may sell food stamps for drugs but many more are selling drugs to get money for food.

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