How is it that even eight-year-old boys are capable of breaking my heart?
Last Sunday, I volunteered with the youth ministry at my church for the first time. I was assigned the 3rd & 4th grade boys, but there was an especially energetic 2nd grader named Stratton who latched onto me (literally – grabbed my legs and looked up at me with big, blue eyes) and begged for me to be his leader.
“Please, please, please?” he asked, spiky blonde hair sticking out in every direction.
Jeff, the volunteer in charge of 1st and 2nd grade boys, chuckled and said that yes, Stratton could hang with me for the day. Stratton gleefully grabbed my hand, pulled me to our classroom, grinned up at me and called out, “Come on, Mom!”
I laughed, “Oh, I’m ‘Mom’ now, am I?”
“Yeah,” he said shyly. He tiled his head to the side and smiled at me. “You get to be my mom for the morning… Mom.” He looked up at me through thick eyelashes, freckles dotting his nose. Be still, my heart. So precious and such a rascal, all at the same time!
While the 3rd & 4th grade boys collected “manna” (cotton balls) and learned about God’s provision in the desert (thanks, God, for the irony of having me teach this lesson), Stratton sat at a craft table and taped straws to a paper plate. His favorite subjects, I learned, are math and science. He’s my little future engineer. Mommy’s so proud!
I know Sunday school teachers aren’t supposed to have favorites, but if we’re honest, how can we help but have that one child who absolutely melts our heart? Ruth told me that she believes God is going to use music to soften my heart. I’ve determined that He’s going to use music and children. Particularly 8-year-old boys.
When Stratton’s real mom came to pick him up after church, he ran eagerly to her and gave her a big hug without even looking back. And that’s when I realized that even 8-year-old boys are capable of breaking my heart. I hope his mom knows how lucky she is to have such a precious blessing… and to be “Mom” for more than just three hours on Sunday mornings.