As I set out on my day with the closing words to my previous entry, I was eager to see how God will guide me. Who should I encourage, and how?
After spending part of the morning at home, making phone calls, connecting with teams, I decided to spend some time working in our children's home office. Perhaps I'd be able to focus more when I'm away from my home. But then I saw the toddlers... Laying and sitting in a little line on their patch of the East wing lawn was Kipkurui, Victoria, Kanmau, Edickson, Ruthu, Dorcas, Mercy and Eliud. It's winter break, and the older kids are back at school for tuition, but the preschoolers don't have tuition, so they've spent their morning doing chores and playing. Now, they were waiting for lunch. It was another hour till lunch, but they were patiently just sitting, catching bugs, talking about whatever 3-, 4- and 5-year-olds talk about.
I headed over and plonked on the lawn with them. No sooner had I kicked off my shoes than Kipkurui was on top of me. Then came Ruthu. And Edickson. And Mercy. I couldn't see if Dorcas got on top of the pile, too. I was lying on my stomach, and laughing! The kids were having a ball, literally pouncing around on my back. They never get to play like this with grown-ups.
I decided that since I was wearing capris under my sarong, I could take it a step further. "Do you want to fly, Kurui?" He wasn't sure what I meant, but little Ruthu decided to step up to the plate. Throughout playing, she was imitating me. With a big grin, she put her tummy on my feet and said, "Do you want to fly?" And she giggled as I lifted her off the ground.
One by one the others stepped up to fly, too. But Kanmau decided not to. He kept sitting on the lawn beside my head, playing with my hair. (Mzungu hair fascinate the kids!) When my legs got tired, Edickson stood at the edge of the lawn with one of my shoes. I got up and started a game of chasing him. Soon, all eight were running around, wanting to be caught. Mercy would jump onto my back, holding on for dear life while I'm playing a silly game of "Wapi Mercy?" (Where's Mercy?) Or Kipkurui would come running and litterally jump through the air into my arms. After which he'd pop his thumb into his mouth, and pretend to sleep! (No doubt his way of saying, Hey, I want your attention all to myself!)
It's a rare blessing to be able to have an hour like that with the littlest ones. When the older kids are around, these ones naturally pull back.
So, were they blessed? Encouraged? They wouldn't say it that way. But I have no doubt that they know they are loved. They know I think they're fun to be with. They know they can crawl all over me and I'd let them. And I'd let them fly. Anytime. As long as I'm wearing capris!