In a world of Super Targets where you no longer need to know the butcher, baker, and candlestick maker, it is easy to live an isolated life (I still love Super Target). I think that with many broken families and no enduring esteem for deep family relationship, there are many lonely people in America.
Take Melaina, who is 9 and 3/4 :). She had met me one time before she showed up at my door today during naptime. Melaina is in a single parent and pretty low-income home from what I have gathered. Previously, she had come with our former neighbor, Princess, who was in a similar home situation. I had been kind to Princess, and so when she was in the neighborhood 6 months ago she showed up at my door with Melaina. This time, Melaina came alone. I invited her in, asked her name again, and took her to the kitchen for a snack. We chatted about random things. She shared that she told her mom she wanted to come to this particular community center so she could visit me. Wow. I was really shocked.
On the other hand, I was really excited! I love that this little girl felt that my home was a welcoming enough place that she requested to visit it again half a year later. She didn’t stay long, but said she’ll come back, and I think that’s probably true.
All this to say… even when your floors are torn up and all you want is a break, let people come in and feed them whatever you have on hand. I am learning that seemingly insignificant things make a difference. And, don’t be discouraged if you sent the last Melaina who came to your door home. I actually was thinking, ” I will tell her the kids are napping and to come back another time.” And, sometimes, you really do have to set good boundaries and send people home. However, for me today, it was an excuse. I’m glad I didn’t say it.