Monday, July 27, 2009

Stepping away from the children...

Yesterday was one of those rare occasions when the Dude and I go somewhere for more than a couple of hours. Together. At the same time.

When you have one child, this is quite a normative experience. (Especially when your parents live in the same town.) When you have two children, it's not quite as regular, but can happen as often as necessary. (Even when you move far away from everyone you know, but especially when you are blessed enough to move down the street from people who adore children and love God even more.) When you have three children, it's more difficult to pull off, but still...not out of the question. (Especially when the college-aged son of your best friends lives 2 apartment buildings down and is a very good sport. Or when your little sister lives with you for 6 months.)

But when you have four children? Not so much. In fact, not really at all. (Unless your little sister marries the college-aged son of friends and moves a day's drive away. And for two blissful years...before moving far, far away again.)

We did manage to pull off a business trip recently, but as amazing as that was (amazing = moving heaven & earth to place 4 children in 4 homes for 4 days during VBS week), it was business. We had little to no down time, and any ministry wife can relate to sharing your husband with a laptop and Powerpoint presentations in a hotel room.

Despite the impossible, however, I managed to gain enough babysitting credits and/or charity with a friend - who has three tiny girls of her own! - to cash in on TWELVE HOURS of babysitting my four tinies. *blink* It's always such a huge undertaking, in my mind, for someone else to watch my kids. I'm always loathe to be thought an imposition. I mean, I have four children!! It takes a lot of grace and sacrifice for someone to even offer to keep them.

Finally, I had to make myself allow her to do this for me. I've done it for her, numerous times over the last year or so. Sometimes for pay (when it's work-related), sometimes not. Sometimes planned in advance, sometimes day-of or even night-before. And it's always fine. She knows she can drop them and go - we have everything we need here: kid-friendly food, sippy cups, toys, diapers, blankets, tiny-girl clothes, crayons, and kid movies. It came down to me packing hardly anything for them and letting she and her husband caravan away from the church parking lot in their Suburban and our van. You'd think it would be simple, but I had to tell myself to literally...

...step AWAY from the children!!!

And so I did. It was very freeing, and I didn't worry a bit, because I know she doesn't worry about hers when they're with me. (Sound so simple, doesn't it?) Here's what we did:

A friend of ours from the Chinese church that the Dude preaches at occasionally is a HUGE Chelsea fan. (For you Americans, Chelsea is an English football [soccer] team.) Apparently, Chelsea were coming to D/FW, to play at the brand new Dallas Cowboys stadium. Naturally, our friend got tickets, and naturally, he invited the Dude! Somehow I got invited to go, too, but we didn't find out till last week. Brilliant!

We were supporting Chelsea - of course, because the Dude is English - but were absolutely outnumbered by the Club America fans. The parking lot was even full of cars with Mexico license plates. I mean, I honestly respect anyone who drives more than a day across an international border to attend a soccer match! It was the final match of the World Football Challenge...something I'd never heard of. But I'm game for any sort of competition that will encourage the USA to get involved with (or, even aware of!) what the rest of the world have been doing for the last century and longer. "Our" team beat the Mexican team soundly! 2-o. It was very exciting. Personally, I'm glad for the pre-World Cup 2010 exposure (the only time we get cable TV - every 4 years, for a month. ha) If you're a soccer/"foot"ball fan, you can read about this final match here, and Angry Trey posted pix of the match, and the beautiful new stadium on his blog today.

One more thing...during the World Cup soccer tournament, and, again last night, I always suppress a big pahahahaha when some of the Mexican teams come out in their "Bimbo"-sponsored uniforms. Bimbo is Mexico's brand of of Wonder Bread. I always try to pronounce it in Spanish in my head. But sometimes my giggles still get the best of me...


  1. How brilliant! So glad you two got your date. I already feel bad dropping the tinies anywhere and I only have two. (SO HAPPY TO SEE YOU BLOGGING AGAIN!)