It's an easy excuse I use too often.
"Sorry, I can't, I've got the kids."Life with the wee three is tailor-made for excuses of all kinds. They're loud and they're fast and they all run in different directions. They distract and disrupt and yell. Did I mention the biting? Or the falling and the crying? And I'm a mess. A real, human frazzled-and-frizzy-haired-mom-of-a-mess. I yell and cry, too. I chase them, and sigh, and want to hide. I'm embarrassed and exhausted.
"Oh, that sounds great, but it's a little too close to naptime."
"I'd love to, really, but, well, you know how toddlers are."
These are my reasonings - my very adequate and totally understandable reasonings - for holding back, not showing up, missing out. I'm doing you a favor, I think. Truly, you wouldn't want us there.
Except... that's no way to live. And it's no way to teach your kids how to live. Or to serve. It's no way to be family within community. And it's really no way to grow or to learn or to love.
And those are all the reasons why I said yes to today. Me and my kids are going to show up. We are going to be loud and we are going to be messy. We are going to go meet some other kiddos who are oh-so-far away from home. My kids are gonna love the heck out of them, for no other reason than they are kids, too, and they know what it's like to be away from home. We are going to craft it up good, even though we are not crafty and even though the wee lad will be running and throwing and probably eating said crafts.
It's too easy to say no, but it's oh so hard to train them in the way they should go if you don't show up at all. We may as well just all go together, before they start making excuses, too.
So, who else has a mess - or just plain old life and family and biting toddlers - they're afraid to show up with?