There is nothing like spending time with children to put a big smile on your face!!
I had that opportunity this past Friday when I was invited to a local Mom’s Group to read Franky the Finicky Flamingo.
I should have counted the children but I lost track after 8. They were all about 3 years old and under. They played with the toys available and interacted with each other. It was super cute! The host’s daughter was very outgoing and engaged everyone.
There was a little girl who was shy (I, too, was shy as a child so I knew how she felt) and she didn’t want me talking to her but she did eventually get over the fact that I was in the vicinity and started playing with the host’s child. She had an adorable flamingo shirt on for the event. See picture to the right.
One girl had gorgeous curls and so did one boy. I love curls!
There was laughter and tears (when someone’s finger got caught on something or a head bumped) but those were short-lived. Each Mom knew their child’s cry and they were quickly attended to and comforted and then went back to playing while at the same time, Moms were catching up with each other. Ah, the joy’s of being a parent! It was beautiful!
But, this is what parenting is all about right?! There’s stress but there’s laughter and hugs and quiet moments and loud moments. There’s times when you think you can’t take it one more moment and then your child looks at you and says in their sweet angelic voice, “I love you, Mommy.” That’s when you realize you wouldn’t want it any other way.
I can say that because I’m the Mom of a grown child. I remember the days of having a young child in the house. Toys are never quite all the way put up because they are in the midst of being played with. There’s bottles on the sink, there’s projects left undone. You feel like you’re not going to live through this time. But, you do. And when you look back, it’s the best time of your life!
I loved the energy of the host’s home. It was bright with hand-painted pictures hung up on the wall with tape. There were bright colors and kid-friendly chairs. It was perfect!
After about 30 minutes of playtime and Mom’s visiting, we made our way to the living room. The 3 year old children sat right in front of me and kept their eyes on me the whole time. The younger ones played nearby. A couple of children sat in their Mom’s lap.
I read my book and interacted with the children by asking questions and clarifying a few big words. I think they enjoyed it! They clapped afterwards.
I took the opportunity to share my upcoming Halloween book (Hayley the Halloween Cat) with the children and they are definitely interested in seeing it once it gets all done and made into an actual book!
I’m so grateful that I was able to spend some time with these wonderful women who value reading to their children and understand the need for community with other Moms. It was heart-warming to see the next generation parenting so well. I have great faith in the children coming up, even in this crazy world.
These children are loved. Their parents are supportive. And play is paramount.
I can’t think of a better place to spend my time. I’m thankful that my books will be part of the fabric of their lives to encourage them to be the best little people they can be! I have no doubt they will be wonderful!