Saturdays with Reunion
I love my Saturday mornings. Every Saturday morning, I go to our Reunion Family Center and serve from 9:30-12pm. It’s such a small window, but it hasn’t come without its cost. I have moments where I think about how many Saturday mornings I’ve given up; brunches, baby showers, hikes, things that are so often hard to schedule outside of this very specific time slot. That cost however, those reflective moments, always come with the same response; I still can’t wait until the next Saturday at the Family Center.
Every Saturday, Kaci and I arrive, Hidden House Coffee in hand, to our family center. I set up the front room and print out attendance lists and sort out diapers into brown paper bags. Our friends show up, and help set out snacks and make coffee and sort produce and rice and granola bars. I quickly charge the walkie talkies because I forgot to plug them in the week before. Then, our families begin to show up. Sometimes, all at once, other times, they trickle in. They bring their babies. I ask how little Mateo and Jenna are doing. I exclaim when they tell me that their baby needs a diaper size bigger because I can’t believe how fast they’ve grown. I get distracted by a new little one’s adorably small shoes and forget to tell the next five families they can go to the back and get their groceries.
At the Christmas Party, I sat with one of the young moms who comes in almost every week. We chatted, mostly about her baby, who bounced and bounced and bounced then crashed in my arms with her mouth hanging open, fast asleep. I told the mom that she had quite the little spitfire and she laughed and agreed and told me that she was the same as a baby and it’s weird to have a small human that reminds you of yourself. She then told me how she was tired. That she got up for work almost every day at 4am and worked till 9, then went home, took care of the baby, who was otherwise with family, and then would take the bus to school. She had a somewhat flexible schedule, but this meant she had to be in classes most days until 7pm. Then, she would bus home, take care of the baby, do homework, and hopefully be asleep by 11pm. Her little one still needed to be up in the middle of the night to eat as well, so there goes a few more hours of sleep.
This young mom is a superhero. She gives every second of herself to making sure the little daughter she gave birth to has every shot in the world to have a good life. It’s my privilege to sit with her, and give her some diapers and food, and then my time and a listening ear. I was not anywhere near capable of what this girl is doing when I was her age. Shoot, I’m barely capable of it now.
I love my Saturday mornings. I don’t love it because I should do it, or because the Bible tells me to. I don’t love it because it’s a good use of time or because it makes me feel good to know that I’m contributing to the world, or whatever phrase has been used. I love it because I love these parents. I love seeing the way the care for their children and fight for them. I love it because when they walk in our doors, I see the way that they relax and can laugh with my friends. I see the way they smile at Mark when he comes to say good morning. I see the way that Kaci scrambles to find cold medicine when one of the parents is coughing. A 16 year old mom smiles when she is handed a Christmas present for her, her baby and her boyfriend. One of the regular ten year olds brings the grocery carts back for a stranger. The little 1 year old with the spiky hair wanders into the warehouse confidently with 7 adults smiling and waving down, overjoyed at his little existence. I’m glad he experiences this. I’m glad that he can walk into a room of people and know that he is just loved because he exists.
We love because He first loved us.
This is life, and life in abundance.