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My Nursery Experiences

The place that I want to volunteer at for credit for this class is at the Children's Hospital because I have had a lot of dealing with kids in my past. For the past 3 years or so, I have been volunteering for my church's nursery back in my hometown. I would go there every Sunday and watch over the little kids as their older family members would attend the sermon. In those three years I have gone through all sorts of things a kid can dish out on you. I have had to change diapers, I have had to take care of a few sick kids, watch over children only a few months old, rock a sleeping child, clean up all the toys the kids enjoy taking off the shelves, making sure the kids are safe, and the list continues! It was rather crazy, and certainly stressful. But at the same time it was very rewarding.

I remember near the beginning of my volunteering in the nursery, I met this new born child whose name was Neils. His mother was one of those mothers who weren’t so worried about leaving the nursery attendants a few month old child, so I got to know this boy quite early on. What was amazing that I witnessed in this child was that I got to see him grow! I was so amazed when he started to crawl. Soon afterwards, it seemed within weeks, he was able to walk! And almost miraculously, he was soon speaking! It was limited speech, but nonetheless quite remarkable! Last I saw him (about a month ago) he was actually speaking in full sentences!

What I took back from this experience was the miracles a child can bring. For example, it always amazes me how quickly a child can learn. I am currently enrolled in a French class and I’m having some difficulties learning the language. It has taken me about 7 years to arrive to the level that I’m at right now, and here is a 3 year old child able to speak practically fluent English.

I sometimes watch the little kids in the nursery, and wonder what they will become when they get older. Who will become an artist, a scientist, a teacher, a doctor, or even a parent? But I didn’t like to think about it too much, because then that would mean by that time, they’d have lost their childish innocence.

This brings up the other ways a child can bring about miracles. They can somehow make life much more uncomplicated and trouble-free. They helped me be reminded of how important the simpler things in life are. As college students, we are always on the run, worrying about if we will turn in our assignments on time, if we failed a test, and so on. I would get so caught up in all the stress. Watching the children play in the nursery reminded me of when times were simpler and easier for me. Back then I did not know about all the problems and issues that affect me know. As children I did think about wars, I did not think about deaths. I did not worry my mind over issues like racism, sexism, and sex-orientation; I would play with anyone who was willing. I didn’t care about money, could do without trendy clothes, and I wasn’t a witness how corrupt people can be. When I turned on the TV, I would see my favorite shows and characters, not the deaths, the crimes, and the materialistic media that I see now.

Oh, to be a child again, not to have the troubles I experience and see now. Obviously I cannot go back to those times, but perhaps being around a child I can be brought back, just for even a second, when I youthful and happy.

Comments

Although I have not volunteered in my church's nursery, I did have a similar experience through babysitting my neighbor's children and watching my younger brother grow. Like every suburbian girl I started babysittying when I was 11 after taking a class to be a "certified babysitter" at my elementary school. I frequently babysat my neighbor's children as soon as the mother felt willing to leave her children in my hand...the kids were 1 and 3. I did not have the chance of watching these children learn to crawl, walk, and talk, I did watch these kids grow into crazy and uncontrollable kids to young teens. With my brother, he is only 4 years younger than me so I do not remember much of his younger years, but I have found it remarkable that through the past 3 or 4 years that he has changed. He is 14 now, has a developing low voice, brags about his few armpit hairs popping up, and is much taller than me. It's insane! I cannot wait to continue to watch him grow through high school and college. I am sure he's gonna be a real ladies man!