I got to hang out with some pretty cool kids the other night. Four siblings, whom I had actually never spent real time with before - just a couple brief encounters - but I have had a feeling for a while that we would be good friends, if ever we had the chance. They just have these smiles and eyes that twinkle in a way that say, "I have a wonderful story," and I just wanted to be a part of it for a little while.
So for a few brief hours, we talked, and played, and read books, and sang songs, and colored, and ate ice cream and brownies, and went to the park and back again. And by the end of the night, it felt like we'd been dear friends forever. They are so sweet and gentle and fun... and you know, they were also really natural and comfortable around my chair, without the fear or awkwardness that a lot of kids have. They asked about different buttons, and leaned on the armrests to talk to me, and the boy ran ahead to warn me of bumps in the sidewalk and watched out for his baby sister when she wandered behind me. It was really quite encouraging and blessed me a lot.
One of my favorite moments was on our way home from the park, when I had one of the little girls bundled in a blanket on my lap, and halfway home, she said, "I want-" and I said, "Do you want to get down?" and she said, "No, I want to rest..." and she leaned back and laid her head on my chest and patted her little hands on my legs. Then she sighed and dreamily said, "I really liked this - tonight was a lot of fun." Talk about melting my heart!
I don't know how often our stories will cross in the future, but I'm so thankful for the time I got to spend with these precious little ones, these kindred spirits.