Dear Runaway Rebecca,
Thank you for playing that fun game with me at MOPS!
The MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group met upstairs at the church, while you and the other “Moppettes,” or little ones, were entertained downstairs. As a mentor mom, I stayed upstairs to lead a discussion group. Doesn’t seem like that long ago that I was getting up two hours before an event, racing around the house to get kids ready (with myself as an afterthought), and then schlepping two strong-willed children and lots of assorted stuff to an event. Now those teenagers are busy in school all day, and my volunteering and Bible study activities don’t require heavy lifting and kid-corralling.
But I still remember my kid-corralling skills, and that’s why your game was so much fun. In stealth-like style, you squeezed your three year old self out the front door amid the mom brigade of strollers, toddlers, diaper bags, and other kid paraphernalia. As I stood outside talking with the other, also quite relaxed, mentor mom, I saw the concerned face of your mom Rose, as she held the door open and called your name. Rose had already worked a full morning: she planned, organized, set up, presented, and then cleaned up for her many responsibilities with the food, hospitality, and decorations.
That look in her eyes told me everything; likely she had turned to quickly finish something and then looked back only to find that you, her precious Rebecca, were gone. Not really gone, just out of reach and off to the races.
Clomp, clomp, clomp – your princess shoes clattered as you raced down the sidewalk.
Swish, swish, swish – that sparkly pink dress swayed as fast as your little legs could clomp.
Bounce, bounce, bounce – your adorable blond ringlets danced to the swish of your gait.
Although relieved to find you, your mother’s attempts to call you back were completely ignored. By this time I was running off to chase you, calling over my shoulder to ask your mom if I could get you.
“I’m sending my friend Miss Tina to get you,” I heard Rose call out as I chased Runaway Rebecca, a little vision in pink speeding along the concrete.
Leaning down toward you as I finally caught up with you, Rebecca, I heard the most precious little laughter. What a sweet, albeit impish, giggle you have! I started laughing with you, determined to make the trip back to your mom just as much fun. With a couple of silly comments and a hand-in-hand u-turn, we were soon racing back to your mom together. What a fun race that was! I still smile when I think of your adorable giggle and the wild Rebecca chase I got sent on.
Oh, how I know the responsibility, fear, and frustration in your mother’s eyes when she lost you in the crowd. Over a decade ago, I was overwhelmed with the responsibility and frustration of mothering my strong-willed children. I felt overworked, overtired, and wondered how I would ever survive. And yet God has guided me through every step of this parenting journey, as He is doing for your mother also.
May God refresh your dedicated mother, little Runaway Rebecca, with lots of those precious giggles and time to play with you. May our loving God always corral you with a gentle turnaround when your strong will tempts you to run from His love and protection.