It's Tuesday night, I spent a few hours in bed today and took a few cold'n'flu tablets so that I could go to boys brigade, and now I feel great. It seems that no matter how crap I feel before I go I always come away energised! I think this means that Boys Brigade pushes all my buttons. I never would have thought that I would like it, to me the name summons up a picture of fuzty old men in tweed jackets teaching boys about tying knots.
But no, it is about 8-16 little boys. Real boys, boys with snotty noses and filthy hands, boys with torn trousers and not enough clothes. Boys who haven't had enough to eat all day, that devour the tea I give them and come back for seconds. These self same boys who still have room for two bits of home baking for supper. They are full of energy, they literally bounce of the walls. They are so spiky and defensive, but they have hearts that are longing to be loved.
These boys of mine just want me to watch what they do, they want me to hug them and tell them they are great. They want to eat up all the food (of course) but it's more than that. They just want me to be there. Sometimes on Tuesday nights it is hard work, we are setting boundries left right and centre. Boys get sent home, boys get told off again and again. They fight against our rules every step of the way.
But.. if we chance upon one of our boys at the fish'n chip shop, or PakNSave, or the movies, or if we drive past their house and hoot our horn at them, they love it. They are always so thrilled to see us. They go to school and tell their teachers about us, they go home and tell their mums (only two of our boys have dads that live with them). We are one of the highlights of their week. They even invite their skinny little friends to come.
It is such an honour to be involved with Boys Brigade at Opawa, I feel like I've waited all my life to find a spot that fits me so well. Tonight and last tuesday we taught them to use the sewing machine. Give a boy a machine with an accelerator and he's happy. They have all taken home bags they made themselves. They are filled with pride and achievement. They have eaten sausage rolls and chocolate chip cookies. I have told them that I love them all. What a priviledge to make these grimey little boys so happy.
Now isn't that a worthwhile thing to do?? Roll on next tuesday.