Friday, March 28, 2008

Take a Child by the Hand

There is an old French proverb that goes, "Who takes a child by the hand takes a mother by the heart." I don't know it from a mother's vantage point, but I understand it as one who has invested in children.

Today in the county office I work in, I got to play it out. We don't see very many children in our office, but a mom came in with two little ones in tow. One looked to be about 4 and the other about 2 1/2. She wanted to drop off a Quit Claim Deed to be recorded. While it is not always the case, we see these a lot when there is a divorce in the works. One spouse "quit claims" solely to the other. (There are other reasons as well, but this can be the situation.)

I started examining the document and noted that a couple things were missing. I double checked with a coworker who actually knew the mom from a distance in high school. He came up to help as I was explaining another form that needed to be filled out . . . . And the kids ran in and out the door and down the hall and spun on the stool. Mom picked the little boy up to keep him corralled and tried to listen as I explained. But listening was difficult since he was now sitting on the counter and kicking his feet and trying to figure out an escape route.

Since my coworker had walked up, I decided to opt out of the explaining. I held out my arms to the little boy and said, "Want to come see me?" To mom's surprise, he did. So, I invited him and his sister back to my desk where I let them pick out cat pictures (used page-a-day calendar sheets -- great for scratch paper or impromptu gifts for awed children) and transformed a piece of paper into an origami swan. (Something I learned from my second grade teacher many moons ago!)

They were thrilled and mom thanked me twice. I feel like even in that small interaction, I took her children by the hand and took her by the heart. I gave her a moment's peace and possibly a sprinkling of hope. I'd like to think I did that.

I don't believe in past lives, but if I did, I think I must have been a preschool teacher at one time. In another life, I was probably a lion tamer since I am so in to teaching Mali tricks at the moment. Maybe the two go hand in hand -- taming preschool children?


Sita Henderson said...

Hi Amy,
Clicked on your blog via Lelia. Immmediately I connected as I see your struggle with depression,one of my struggles. I look forward to reading more on your lessons on 'hope'. God has been teaching me about unbelief vs. faith lately. Anyway, be blessed.

Anonymous said...

Amy, Such a small, easy thing for you was so much for for that mom! There are some who would be irritated at the disruption. Your little act of kindness encouraged me today.