Sometimes I think we are being tested. Give a person what they (think that they) want and see what happens.
A person's eyes are opened when you get what you ask for. At least mine have been. On many occasions.
Most recently, a family-of-two joined our daycare family.
I knew from the start, that they would be a challenge. I also recognized that I have to accept these challenges in order to grow and receive more-of-what (who)-I-hope-for.
The first two days just about brought me to my knees. Two days. Only two days. Perhaps I was the one who made it hardest on myself because I drew a line in the sand right from the start. I have certain rules (in order to keep everyone safe) and expectations (kindness and manners are a big deal to me) that I enforce right from the beginning.
Their third day was the charm. It was on the third day that I recognized what this family brought into our world. A sense of energy, fun and adventure. New thoughts and ideas. They turned the same old, same old into something fresh and new.
There was a hum of contentment in the air. The best 'toys' in the world for children who need constant stimulation is other children. My original three daycare children were more happy and content to be among a larger group.
It is amazing how quickly we can adapt to change.
Last week, my new family missed three days. By the fourth day, I was almost begging them to return. We missed what they brought into our world.
The last two days of the week were busy but very satisfying. All of us were happier with more children in our midst.
I saw the writing on the wall. The missed days. The dad's (three) new jobs that he did and did not revolve through, throughout the two weeks that they came here. The biggest clue was when the dad told me that he didn't want to work through the summer.
It wasn't a surprise when I received notice from them late yesterday afternoon. They will not be coming back.
We are back to where we started. With one major difference. I know what I am capable of. And I know without a doubt that "The more, the merrier" is our new daycare credo.
The biggest gift within this two week period is that another new family has found us. Another little girl that is one month younger than my 2-1/2 year old girl. A new friend has made the decision to join our daycare family.
I keep saying that 'four' would be my ideal number of children to tend. Even numbers work best. Everybody has a buddy. This is exactly what I had hoped for.
It will take a little while before my newest arrival starts to come full time. They are going to wean her into the idea gradually. But they sound firm in their conviction to come. And stay.
I have been berating my child-tending abilities lately. I have done this before and it never felt this hard. I knew that the kids having fun among themselves was key. I just didn't realize how much until I received the 'gift' of this family-of-two, who breathed new life into our world.
I am so very glad that I was up to and accepted this new challenge. It showed me that I am more capable than I was allowing myself to believe.
Most of all, I am grateful that I said "Yes!" to this family. Fear has become my biggest enemy. I have to overcome that. One small step at a time.