Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Navigator's sons

I babysat yesterday.  A young couple with three boys were going to a Navigator's meeting - a college ministry all across America.  I had been up since 4:30 in the morning, with the exception of a morning nap before working 12-5:15, walking home to eating supper, and hopping in the car to get to our destination at 7.  I was happy - don't get me wrong - to be babysitting, as I always am, but was a bit tired.  (I don't think I should mention I stayed up til 1am sewing a dress I wanted to wear to church the next morning - but that was of my own doings).
Well, getting there at 7, I was told the boys went to bed at 7 also.  I was a little relieved that I didn't have to run all over until 9 playing hide and seek, and wasting my voice reading transformers comic books.  Instead, each boy picked out a book for me to read, and then 2 would hit the sack (or, were supposed to), and the eldest - about 5 - could stay up a half hour later.
My parents up front in our old Toyota mini-van snaked their way up the long, gravel, wooded driveway to the cottages rented out to those willing to deal with standing room only and leaky sink pipes and toilets.  It was very quaint and rustic - actually pretty after it's first impression.  Three or four cabin-like structures stood off the gravel landing, and I would learn later that more than three families lived in those 3 buildings. These families had devoted so much to the work of reaching out to the lost and vulnerable college students in our capitol city, that many had moved from their homes in a state far away to rent out what they could, and work as hard as they could.
There was a young mother in the basement department caring for her new baby.  When I walked inside, due to Carry's cheery and absolutely welcoming invitation, and she looked joyfully frazzled.
  "Mom!  I accidentally got tooth paste on the bathroom floor.  It just came out wayyyy too fast." came the voice from a guy I'd guess to be about 5, though small for his age.
  "OK - so what we need to do is get a wet towel and wipe it up now.  Can you grab one for mommy, Gabe?"
Yup.  She was used to boys.  Two other brown eyed faces appeared, checking out their new babysitter.
One about 2, and the other not much older.
  "He-yoo!"
  "Hi, whats your name?"
  "My CD?"
Mommy was pulling a shirt on Luke, the middle child.  "Why do you have a CD, honey?  Go put it where it belongs."   He looked at me, seeing if I would reinforce.
  "Can you show me where the CDs are kept, David?"  After that, they were glued.  With one in the cradle, I settled onto the gold-ish couch covered in a navy blue sheet, with two little boys clinging to my arms.  "Read this one!"
Action figure books, I should have guessed.  I smiled again.  From then on I was continually astounded and amused at the things that seemed to effortlessly pop out of their mouths:
 

http://www.navigators.org/us/

"I really like the pictures in this book," one said, after handing me his book choice - bumblebee transformers.  "The pictures and paintings are very nice, and they are very beautiful."  I opened the cover to reveal an epic battle of robots.  I honestly agreed that I liked it too.
 
**************
"What are monks?" questioned Gabe. 
They are men who devote their lives to God.
"I'm a Christian too, though."  Boy, this was gonna be tricky.
"Monks are a little different in how they do things."
"Like how?"
"Well, for one, they never get married, and..."
The look of horror and shock on his face stopped me.  After he had recovered from such a concept, he wonderingly asked me,
"What do they do after they don't get married?"
 
**************
I discovered the boys liked music, when they pressured me to sing their favorite Christmas song.  A flashlight was held right above the page so "I can make sure you cans see the words good".  With the tapping of a plastic toy car on the tin lamp, and nonrhythmic slapping of couch pillows as my background band, I'm sure glad the windows were not open.

**************

"Do you know what my favorite food is?"  I took a wild [American] guess - "Pizza?".  He shook his head.  "Prunes are my favorite food.  They make you feel really good."
"Oh." 
After a pause - "My second favorite food is meat loaf."

*************

Later, when the youngest was back up, and was needing more than a few lullabies,  Gabe suggested we give more hugs and kissies.  "He likes when babysitters kiss him," he said.  After a few minutes of hugs and kisses, and reassuringly rubbing his back and softly singing along to the music, I asked him if he was ready for sleepy now.  Immediately he layed down, covered up, and closed his eyes.  I never heard a peep from him after.

*************

"Did you have a Soppy when you were little?"  I was asked.  I hadn't gotten through 5 minutes of my stay before knowing that a 'soppy' was a baby pacifier.  I never accepted the nook when I was little under any conditions, so I truthfully answered, "No".  He told me that he was very sad for me.

*************

But the grand fanale' of the night was when I finally had all tucked in.
"You know what?" I was asked by my little friend.  "I'm gonna miss you all summer long. 


This is where you say  "Awwwwwwwwww!"

In all, I had a great time with the Navigator's sons!



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