Monday, April 22, 2013

out of the mouths...

I love the kids I live with more than I think I can convey.

God has granted this only child such amazing nieces and nephew.
He has provided me with such love through them.

So here's the latest... (for you, Melissa Helme, so your heart can smile...)

Tonight outside after supper, enjoying the remaining sunshine for the day, Jane (almost 4) and I play together...

Jane: Kaleen, I'm pretending I'm asking you what you want to eat, okay?

Me: Ok, go ahead Jane.

Jane: So, what would you like to eat?

Me: Um, can I please have a grilled cheese sandwich?

Jane: Yes you can.

(She scurries away and returns soon after)...

Jane: Um, so you can have peanut butter. And...a scratchy bun. It's all we have. We don't even have chicken and fries.

Me: You don't? You only have peanut butter and a scratchy bun?

Jane: Yup. There were all these kids and they ate all the chicken and fries. So you can have peanut butter. And a scratchy bun. It's all we have.

Me: Wow. This is quite the restaurant.

Last night at dinner, Bodhi (5 1/2) started the conversation with this one...

Bodhi: If you do not have a brain, please raise your hand!

Carleigh: Are you thinking someone here might not have a brain?

Bodhi: (with tears in his eyes)... Well, I'm just kinda worried one of us might be a robot....

And Charlee (almost 7) and I had this conversation a little while ago...

Charlee: Kathleen. When are you not going to have to go to work? Like, when can you just stay home and never go to work?

Me: Oh, well, Char, I go to work to make money so that I can afford to live with you and to eat food and to drive my car. If I didn't go to work, I wouldn't have money, and I wouldn't have a place to live, or food to eat.

Charlee: Oh Kathleen. We would always take care of you.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Long overdue...and yet not.

It was the beginning of December.

My heart was pretty heavy with grief, sad for my little family. 
Truly, I was just trying to make it to Christmas break. 

And then the packages started. 
Each wrapped in brown paper and string, with the printed words attached. 

I came to my office that first day, and found this one in a grocery bag, hanging off the door handle to my office:

It was cute.
It was thoughtful. 
It made me totally curious.
And it continued.
For 12 days...

Day two was equally clever...

Day three was timely (I think I was sick...)

Day four I was in disbelief that this was really happening...

Day five I found this in my purse after a Christmas party with our student leaders. 
I still don't know how they managed to slip by me like that.

Day six (which came after a weekend, and therefore was joined with day seven's package) proved a happy day for Charlee, Bodhi and Jane!

 Day seven, my curiosity was killing me.
My eyes were definitely open, trying to catch these clever gifters.

By day eight, I was in total amazement of whomever this was. 
They were dedicated. And I was eating a lot of chocolate by this point.

Day nine was rather ironic.
I had given this CD to MCC the week before. 
I was just purging, and slightly hesitated to donate Christmas music right before Christmas, but remember, my heart was heavy with how short life is and what really I was purging my material goods.
And then day nine came, and I got the same CD back.
I was curious if it might actually be the very same CD...

Day ten was a flashback. 
When was the last time I had ever eaten Cracker Jacks? 

Day eleven. I was dying of curiosity...
...while I enjoyed a hot cocoa.
And tried to spy out any suspicious behaviour in my students.
I was looking for clues.

And then day 12 came.
And I didn't get to find out who it was.
Marlene (the Student Development Associate) hinted that she knew.
And then swore she wouldn't tell me...
I believe her exact words were,
"if you ask me in February, I'll tell you in March".

And so it's April. And I still don't know who blessed me in this way, but every time I think of it, I get a little teary. Steve (my coworker) keeps bugging me to ask Marlene, because he's just as curious. 

I know it's kind of anticlimactic, all this build up without the revelation of "whodunnit". And yet, while I'm so curious...I'm also hesitant to ask Marlene and find out who it was. 

You know why?

I can think of many different students that may have blessed me in this way.

And I love that.

I don't have an automatic "oh, it's definitely this person"...which for me, speaks to the character and the love my students (plural) demonstrate. 

It was the end of the semester. A time of final projects, and of exams, and of sheer tiredness. And yet these students were so committed to blessing me that they made sure, every day, there was a package waiting for me. 

Exactly when I needed it the most. 

It's April.
In 4 days, my students will be done. 
Many will graduate on Saturday, some will move on to other education or the work force, and others will simply leave for the summer to work and rest and get ready for next year. 

And while I think we're all ready for a break from each other (cue roommate conflict), these brown paper packages wrapped in string remind me of the favourite thing about my job (even in the midst of discipline and drama)...and this is it:

I get to work with some pretty awesome people who love Jesus, 
who try to follow Him, 
and who are learning to rely on His grace when we fail; 
and we're all in it together.