When you think about it, it’s a rare thing to step into someone else’s life and live there for a few days when they are not there. It’s a little surreal in fact. This week I am still me, but I am living as a “stand in” for my brother and his wife while they are gone on a well deserved anniversary trip. This morning after sleeping in their bed, with their dog, I got up and watched the sky get light from my sister-in-law’s favorite chair in her second story bedroom.
I walked over to my parents house for my first cup of coffee for the morning, and then back to have breakfast with my brother’s two children Claire and Evan. Today they are starting the week’s schoolwork which is scheduled in detail for them. They study at home and I’m warned there might be questions about algebra, geometry and writing.
My brother and his wife have a genuine interest in their children and their children’s friends. They invite a small group of teens from their church over to their house every other week – yesterday was the day for that and my brother explained how he hated to cancel it just because they weren’t going to be home. So he didn’t. I am glad my brother isn’t afraid to freak me out, and I’m thankful God keeps me calm and trusting when I’m challenged.
Evan and I went shopping Saturday and got healthy snacks and he cleaned up the family room in preparation. What a responsible guy! After church on Sunday, Evan and I got into the van and I sat waiting for the rest of the kids to come out and join us, I didn’t realize they were already seated behind us until one of them asked me what i was waiting for. What a quiet, well-behaved group! (this really happened).
At the house they had a great time cutting up apples and making hot chocolate. They spent half an hour eating and talking with each other, half ah hour listening to me talk about my experiences with teens in Cambodia, and half ah hour playing a game while waiting for their parents to pick them up. They were respectful to me, kind and encouraging to each other and still looked like they were having a lot of fun. What a refreshing look at today’s youth!
The family dog really misses my sister-in-law. He is a lap dog and it’s almost like having a baby in the house – one that wants to be held all the time. He is getting used to me though, as is the family cat. This morning they were both giving me “the stare” as I started doing things in the kitchen. The water bowl was empty and they seemed to know how to get someone to fill it. As i said, the dog sleeps quietly all night on the bed with me, and yesterday he took me for a walk too. What a sweet dog!
It’s all good so far and I fully expect the rest of the week to go smoothly. I suppose it’s partly a case of extra good behavior to go easy on Aunt Shirley, and that’s okay, but mostly I think it’s a blessed life that I’ve stepped into and get a chance to live in, for a few days. What an interesting opportunity!