Eventually, when Precious Little Girl was three months old, Grandma asked if I could watch her for an afternoon. Oh, how wonderful to love on a little one. And lucky for all of us, especially grandma, this is the happiest baby ever!
We took her a few more times over the summer while her grandmother worked or ran errands. But then came the day she was in desperate need for care while she worked. I took her and was then asked if I would take her three days a week.
I have learned, the hard way, to let my brain answer and not my heart. So I thought on it harder than I probably thought on anything in the past. I prayed on it. I wrote pros and cons lists. I fretted over it. I have five kids of my own. I have a walking schedule. I have multiple businesses that I run. I write books. I'm on call 24/7 when the school calls and says you need to come and get your kid for this or that. I'm the driver to all school drop offs and doctor appointments. Sure, I love to kiss on little babies, but really, is this something I want to take on? To be honest, I'd never been so realistic in a decision ever--and I was leaning toward no.
The moment came when her grandma needed an answer, and even with reservation, I said yes. Worst case, I'd tell her I made a mistake. I'd keep caring for her until she found a better situation, but I was the one that didn't have to stay if I didn't want to.
Okay, lesson learned. Sometimes the heart speaks over the logical mind, and it's the right choice.
This baby, who has no siblings, now has five older "brothers" who adore her so much. They are such gentle people and they run home to get some time with her. My husband, who is such a softie, has thanked me for caring for her. He loves her so much. She feeds his soul in a way that takes all of his woes away. As for me, she put some priority in place for me. I can be a workaholic. I'm present, meaning that I'm here with my family always, but I'm always on my computer working. And you know what? I never get any work done. But with this little girl in my rotation a few days a week, I've had to prioritize things. I lightened the workload for my company. I'm focusing on the very essential parts. When I work, I'm more focused. She goes on walks with us in the mornings, and we adjusted. We walk longer when she's not with us, but as she's grown, we get in a lot of milage even on our short walk days. If there's a dentist appointment, or a school program, she's in tow. Three days a week she's just part of our family.
Now the questions is, what will we do when she goes away? Someday, she'll be too big to be at our house. She'll need to be around friends her age, and yes, she will eventually go to school. It's much different than having your own children in your house. With your own, you're too focused on all the other things that need to be done. And with five, I think I was just always a hot mess.
I'm taking some time to understand this gift I've been given. This is a great opportunity to give this family's love to another person, who hopefully will grow with it. I keep thinking, if I love this little girl as much as I do, I can't imagine how much I will love my grandchildren when they come along someday.
I still am amazed I took this on, but it has been such a blessing to all of us. And hopefully, we are a blessing to her as well.