children

Want Fries With That?

The title of my blog is now a little misleading. I am no longer a TOTAL lady of leisure. I have acquired a part-time job at the local library, and with that job comes stories. Today was no different.

During customary checkout procedure I take a patron’s card, scan it, and then scan the items being taken home while making sure to unlock any media items and demagnetize almost everything. A woman approached the counter with a young boy who was probably no older than 11.

Now, we all know that kids this age know everything and will continue to know everything until they are about 30. This boy was no different. He thought nothing of placing his mouth on the edge of the chest-high portion of the counter while waiting for his mother.

Mom, on the other hand, thought something of that. Upon glancing over and seeing her son lip-locked with the counter’s edge, she immediately told him not to do that. Of course the boy removed his lips, waited for his mother to turn away, and then placed them back on the smooth surface. I have no idea what tasted so good to him.

Now, I couldn’t let an opportunity to teach the young lad a lesson go to waste. However, boys this age don’t get scared and don’t get grossed out. Ever. I mean, what would their friends think? Still, I felt he needed to know something important about that counter top. Donning my sternest librarian face and keeping my expression deadpan and serious, I asked, “Do you know how many people put their hands there after picking their noses?”

Beep, beep. I continued scanning, glancing up long enough to see him look at me to see if I was joking. Keeping my face locked in a serious expression, I saw the horror spread over his face slowly. It was a lot like the opening scene of the semi-recent phantom of the opera movie when the screen goes from black and white cobwebs to a full color, gas lit opera house.

“Betcha didn’t think about that,” his mother said, seeming to play into my hands. The horrified expression remained on his face until he turned to walk towards the door. “Have a nice day,” I called after him. I wanted to add, “Want fries with that?”

Adelyn’s Request

Adelyn is, for now at least, my favorite niece. I can say that fairly because she is my only niece unless my sister-in-law has a girl in May. Adelyn is my sister and brother-in-law’s only child and, therefore, extraordinarily special. A month ago today on Veteran’s Day, Brenda and Adelyn came to visit me and spend the day shopping and playing. I wish I could show you a picture of her, but for understandable reasons, Brenda and Brett do not wish for their daughter’s image to be made available on the internet and I respect that wish. I will tell you a little about her before I tell you the story I want you to hear. On command, Adelyn will make one of two faces—the cute face and the mad face. The cute face consists of her folding her hands under her chin, tilting her head to one side like a puppy and smiling really big while opening her brown eyes as wide as they will go. The mad or mean face is where she puckers her lips into a mean looking frown, squints her eyes, and crosses her arms across her chest, much like her mother used to do when she was mad at that age. She talks quite a bit and is quite eloquent for a 2 ½-year-old. She smiles and laughs a lot and is usually talked out of a rage fairly easily. She is quite a sweet and thoughtful girl, too, as you will soon find out.

As soon as the knock came at the door, the cats scattered. They do not like strangers. And as soon as they heard a small child’s voice, the boys dove under the bed, for they do not like small children in the least. Iris is the only one who will play with a child. I don’t know if it is out of sheer curiosity or if she really doesn’t mind children that badly. Adelyn, as far as I know, had never gotten to play with a kitty before. We showed her the “fishing pole” and unlike other children, she didn’t wave the stick end in Iris’s face. She actually waved the “boa” with the feathers on the end around, and much to her delight, after a few shy moments, Iris played with her. I had gotten out some crayons and paper and I asked her to color some pictures for me. My favorite is the one where she was trying to trace her hand and Mommy helped. Mommy helped her sing her Sunday school songs as well so I could hear what she had learned. She colored for quite a while and then played with Iris some more before we went shopping. She was fairly quiet in the stores and even fell asleep long enough for Brenda to show me what Adelyn wanted most fervently for Christmas (the wish has been fulfilled and I will be giving it to her on Sunday). Upon coming back to the apartment, she played with Iris, colored one more picture, and then left.

When she arrived home, her daddy, Brett, inquired as to what she did that day. She said she played with a kitty and had a birthday party. Apparently she had been longing for another birthday party for quite some time (her birthday isn’t until May) and I gave it to her! I have no idea what I did to make her day so special as to tell her daddy she had a party, but apparently it left an impression on her.

Ever since then, on some nights as she is saying her prayers, she will pray for me. My sister will get her started with “God bless Mommy, Daddy, and Adelyn” and she throws in “and Aunt Marsha!” Sometimes she will list off some of her day care friends, but include me at the end. It isn’t every night, but it has occurred several times. I sent her a card thanking her for her prayers and gave her a picture of herself at my house. I told her I pray for her, too, that she’ll eat more food and be healthy and strong (she’s a picky eater). When she got my card, she recounted an event from her visit here of how a kitty (Iris) tried to drink her milk. She remembers every detail.

So what did I learn from this 2 ½ -year-old girl? I learned that intercessions with God can come from anyone anywhere, even those you don’t expect. I’ve been having some problems of my own and I am convinced that God whispered in her ear and told her I needed her prayers. Nothing inspires you like having someone that young who barely even knows who God is, yet believes in him wholeheartedly, pray for you. I learned that God sends his answers in small packages like Adelyn. Her request did not fall on deaf ears. If God doesn’t hear the simple prayers of a 2 ½-year-old, then who does he hear? If Adelyn believes in God when she barely knows anything about him, then certainly I can believe. I have been raised since the cradle to believe and it was so much easier as a child. Now I get to relive that childlike belief through her and my nephews. I am inspired by Adelyn’s request that God watch over me and now I know I will get through these tribulations of mine with God’s help. I, too, must ask God to help me, for I have trouble praying for myself. But if Adelyn can remember to pray for me, I can remember to pray for me, too. Thanks be to God!