Our church building has floor space under a skylight which I call the Fellowship Area. In the days when I was the church janitor, my sons and I called it “the Acres” because it takes an hour and 20 minutes to run the vacuum cleaner over it, front door to back door.
Today during the Sunday Morning Worship Service, I was in the back by the kitchen door, sitting near a speaker rather than in a seat in the Sanctuary proper. It’s where I sit every Sunday, this quiet spot with a chair more suitable for my aching back and my inability to sit still.
When it came time for the solo, I did get out of my chair and went over to stand by the divider for a better view of the stage. My friend Cindy was up there 🙂
As I looked around me, I realized that the Fellowship Area was already quite busy.
An older man was sitting on a low seat rubbing his sore knee.
A three year old was admiring all the colorful potholders on the table display for the Mennonite Relief Sale.
And several mothers had babies in their arms, hips swaying back and forth in the ages old rhythm to soothe away the fussiness.
One of our teenagers had a wee little babe, maybe a newborn, in her arms. Since she is often watching the Nursery, I assumed she was rocking a visitor’s baby.
The solo was lovely.
One baby seemed to be more calm by the end, almost asleep in his mother’s arms.
After the benediction, I went over to the teen girl and asked whose child it was. She was treating it so tender, just like all the other moms around us.
Well, the joke was on me.
Although she has all the right moves for being a childcare provider, in her arms was a simulated baby. I can’t find a good link to give you a better idea. What it is, is a doll that has some electronics that make it cry like a real baby, and a ‘black box’ device which records how it is treated over the weekend. She was on Day 2½ of a school project, and said she would be glad when Monday comes.
This reminded me of the time when I was a babysitter for one of the sims.
The “dad” was a friend of our youngest son. They musta been Sophomores in high school then. There was a really great band playing somewhere, and the teenage boy of course wanted to go and listen.
Since I was working in daycare then, he figured I was the required type of trusted person who could be persuaded to provide childcare. I negotiated “my fee”, since I’m not a grandma.
Apparently, anybody not actual family in the household should be a paid professional. The rules of the class were more strict than most parents have to put up with.
He showed me the key (the newer ones don’t have a key but have more sophisticated computer chips), handed me the baby, the diaper bag, and schedule form, and away the boys went.
Well, me and that kid had a whee of a time!
I sang songs and danced and swayed my hips and sat with it on my lap to read a storybook.
As soon as I got tired, I checked its diaper, and settled down to read my own book. I put the baby on my lap facing outward, its head on my shoulder.
When its “dad” got back, the record showed the baby was sleeping. We passed it across, ever so gently, me holding its head just right. Dad, however, did not follow through, and the head dangled precariously over his elbow.
A wail like no other pierced the air.
I gave him a wry smile. Live and Learn.
As he went to the car, the crying grew more faint down the sidewalk.
He was gonna have a looong night.
I’m glad to see such programs in school, because they make teenagers think about difficult decisions.
No simulated baby can predict the overwhelming love that happens when the child in your arms is your own.
~~love and Huggs, Diane
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