We’re running a little low on energy tonight. Mrs. Poolman and I spent last night in our church’s parish hall as overnight hosts for three homeless families. It was really OK, and we’ll probably do it again when our parish’s next host week comes around. A group of churches rotate the program among them, each taking a week at a time. The adults and the children were all very nice.
Since we were on the overnight shift, we didn’t get there until after 8 pm, when things were starting to settle down. One of the families was set up in a meeting room. The other two had partitioned-off “rooms” in the larger gymnasium. Mrs. Poolman and I had cots in the other meeting room, which is also where the toys and VCR/DVD player were located.
Before they settled into the “rooms,” I was sitting on the floor playing with a three year old boy and his two year old sister. We were playing with some cards (as opposed to playing cards) when someone said, “Look at that” and pointed to the TV screen where The Lion King was playing behind me. I just laid back and looked at the TV upside down. The next thing I knew, the girl had sat down on my chest and was babbling at me. She was quickly replaced by her bother. He got on all fours on my chest and began growling like the “lion king.”
I thought “OK. Game on! This child wants to rough house.” Mrs. Poolman saw the look of eager anticipation in my eyes and stopped me before I ever got going. She pointed out the child’s mother would be angry if I got him riled up just before bed time. So I was good and didn’t toss him in the air, spin him around in circles or flip him into somersaults. However, that didn’t discourage him from climbing all over me and generally having a good time. We did a couple of piggy-back rides, but nothing more energetic than that.
Later, I talked with his mom and told her that I was sorry her son was such shy young man who didn’t take to strangers and didn’t like to rough house. She agreed and said that her son was just very quiet and didn’t really like to wrestle or rough house. Huh? I wonder if she has another son I didn’t meet.