New in town
Sunday June 29th 2014, 11:45 pm
Filed under: Friends,Life

He was 13 months old and in a strange place with his grandparents at a church he’d never been to before, while for whatever reason his parents were elsewhere in the building just then.

Muh Muh Muh? Spoken softly. He toddled the back row in Sunday School, looking for Mommy.

Actually, the grandmother could easily have passed for an older mother so I wasn’t quite sure there till we introduced ourselves to each other afterwards and her son and daughter-in-law joined in the conversation.

Meantime, he was not crying but he was clearly tired and not quite sure of this place and all these strange faces.

We were silently cheering him on. We’ve all been the new kid on the block. Everyone at the back of the room was smiling at him and loving it when he caught an eye here or there.

One mom had silver sparkly shoes with a pattern that wove in and out and he stopped, got down, and explored how the top of one of them felt while she chuckled. Tangible light! Look at that! And you could cover it over with your hand, too, and then make it come right back. What a cool world!

At one point he went to his grandparents for a hug and we wondered if at last he would start crying; I reached into my purse and found a finger puppet and got it over to them. A turtle.

Grandpa caught on pretty quickly that this little handknit didn’t have to be a lump sitting on the palm and I saw Grandma showing the little guy how it went on her finger–and now it could go on his.

Would he throw it down and throw that tantrum at last? There was this moment of indecision in the air.

He liked it! Hey Mikey!

A minute or two later, toddling over to me, for the first time in there (be still my heart) he looked up into my eyes–and he smiled.

What a difference! He had a huge smile! It took up his entire face and it totally changed how he looked, totally rocking that toothy Mad Magazine mascot thing, ready for cheerful mischief. (Remembering how my grandsons’ daddy liked to stuff silverware down the heating vents starting at that age.)

Standing with all of them and with Richard in the swirl of people after the meetings were over, the parents had three ages four and under? So did we when we moved here. Turning to the side, these are the first grandkids? We told the grandparents we were at the same stage now.

It’s hard to uproot and move away and even harder when life revolves around the needs and schedules of small children. We wanted them all to feel this was home now.

The giggles of a totally-won-over-now tiny human being playing peekaboo around his grandma’s shoulders at me as we grownups got acquainted went a long way towards conveying that sense of belonging.

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Those moments are the best! Yesterday at church, my E held a baby (6 months old now) that he had not held before, although we know the family. They went over to look at the water fountain, and both were mesmerized…the young one by the falling waters, and the Pop-Pop by the wonder of new life…smiling at each other, and back at Mommy and I, these are the moments. Belonging and relationship, God is so good.

Comment by Pam 06.30.14 @ 5:48 am

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