I never minded having kids around. I actually enjoy it. There are and were always kids hanging around our house. Its actually weird now that for the first time ever there are no kids at home during the day at our house. I am getting used to it. I even like it most of the time. But it is different.
I have worked with kids in day cares. Babysat for kids at home. Worked with kids in the Sunday school program. Worked with kids in 4h. Homeschooled kids. Kids have been a big part of my life. I can’t even begin to count how many kids I have taken care of over the years.It just has always seemed natural. Sometimes its hard work. But most of the time, it was just fun! We would do all sorts of fun stuff!
When I worked at the day care with 2’s, we would have “potty parties” when we were working with someone to teach them how to use the potty. We went for walks where the 2’s would hold hands and walk in front of me down the street. I was asked how I taught them to do that, but I couldn’t explain it. The next teacher had to use the rope to take them for walks. On our walks, we would pick up sticks and stones that caught their eye. We would keep the collections in our classroom. I had one little boy who came from another day care and he would not talk. Within a few weeks of being in my class he began to talk. I became “Ms. Hicki”. I certainly did not mind that at all!! He was talking!!!!
I left the day care when I became pregnant with my 4th child. I began to realize, that though I loved working with the kids there, it just wasn’t feasible anymore…
Some of the kids I took care of at the day care came to my house over the summers. Most of the time though I took care of the neighborhood kids. For a time, I had 11 kids at my house on a regular basis. Now get this visual: 11 kids 12-ish and under. 2 of them in the stroller, the baby on my back, the rest walking along. The dog on a leash, and the cat walking himself right along with us!! Walking to the park near the house. That was a trip!! There were lots of other kids too over the years. Some I babysat and got paid for other times, they just were there.
A lot of times the kids would come and hang out at our house because they knew they were bound to get messy and have fun doing something!! We might add water to the sand box and build and make a mess. We might do big messy painting projects. We even did some tie-dying one year. We had lots of kids over the years. Kids that needed loving and direction. Kids that were left to run the streets at a young age. One I even realized was being left home alone to watch his baby brother. At the ripe old age of 5! I had a talk with his mother and that seemed to stop. Soon after that they moved away and I lost touch.
On occasion there are kids that just cause too much trouble and will not listen to correction. Yes, I do correct other people’s kids. No, I do not spank them!! But I will tell them when they need to rethink a direction or decision. Some listen and some don’t. Sometimes I have to say, “Well, when your ready to hear it, we will talk.” Its hard sometimes. Sometimes I have to be the bold one and say, “sorry, you may come back when you are going to change your behavior.” That doesn’t happen often, and its hard when it does.
Its quiet around here lately. The younger bunch does not bring kids around as much as the older ones did. Things have changed a bit. I am enjoying the break for a bit. But I miss sometimes those nighttime chats in the living room when as many as 10 teens would sit around and laugh and talk together. Then there were the later night chats when I would go to my room to hide and read and they would come in and crash my party!! Usually, only the most comfortable would come in to those!!
At some point this will change again. There are always kids who need some extra loving and guidance. I pray I will be ready for them again. I also pray that the ones who have been here have been affected in a positive way and I have somehow helped them along in their journey.
Lord, bless each and every young person who has been at our house over the years. Guide them, let them see their time here as a positive and Lord, please wipe away from them any negatives. Forgive me Lord for being a negative impact and Lord help them to retain the positives. Bless them in their journey Lord.
Blessings on your day!