November 9, 2011

Even the Messy


When I stood at the edge of teenhood, I pined for being old enough to babysit.  Mrs. Chaney took me under her wing and instructed me in the secrets of childcare.

She knew exactly how to tend to little ones. I watched her sooth the fussiest child and put to sleep the non-sleeper. She never had favorites; they were all her favorite. She oozed love in her tender touch and lullabies.

And it didn't stop with the little ones; she loved me too.  She never raised her voice or panicked about my lack of knowledge.  She instructed gently and kindly.  She didn't humiliate me for not wanting to clean an extremely messy diaper, or wipe spit-up.  Instead, she graciously held the most difficult child and allowed me the easy ones.

Eventually, I understood what she'd shown me by example. That all children are beautiful.  All children need love.  Even the messy.  Even the difficult.  Even me.




10 comments :

  1. What a beautiful memory of a woman who gave unconditional love. I desire to give love, without rules and restrictions, to the messy and the lost. I hope to be accepted the same.

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  2. I needed this post when I had a class of 35 screaming teenagers to try and teach! Some people have a real gift with children - you were lucky to have met such a lady.

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  3. Mrs. Chaney sounds like a kind and gentle soul. It's wonderful when we cross paths with someone like that in life.

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  4. You had a wonderful mentor...who taught you well. :-)

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  5. You had a wonderful mentor...who taught you well. :-)

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  6. Some people spend their entire lives hiding "the messy" from the world! Why are they ashamed of it? Its who we are and you're so right, it should be loved like everything else! :)

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  7. I love the warmth your walk down memory lane exudes.

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  8. A great lesson, and a great voice to tell it.

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  9. oh, such a tender story, and so well told. thank you.

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