I read something recently that defined one's "passion" as "the thing you are willing to sacrifice for". Leslie was willing to give up her own birthday party today to babysit a couple of preschoolers. I do believe we've found her passion.
No surprise. The fact that Leslie has a gift with little ones became clear to us years ago. Kids just flock to her; she has a real knack with them. Others have recognized it, too. When Hope started up its MOPS program, they called Leslie and offered to pay her to work in the nursery -- at age 11. (Later, when they were going to have to let her go for lack of funds to pay her, she enthusiastically offered to work for free.)
And she loves being with little kids, unlike her mother. Last summer, the girls and I spent a day at the house of a pregnant mom friend with four kids so she could go to some appointments and run errands child-free. Leslie watched the little ones, Eastin played with the older ones, and I pressed and folded a monstrous pile of clothes. And we all went home with a feeling of satisfaction about the day. We did ministry together, each using our own gifts; it was a cool thing.
The person offering up this definition of passion was encouraging parents to help their kids find their passion and build on it. It brought to mind the older brother of my best friend in junior high. He had his own lawn-mowing business. I mean, a real business -- he hired out other kids to work for him and everything. By the time he graduated from high school, he had a good-sized nest egg to use for college . . which he needed because he ended up going to medical school.
So, Leslie and I have been talking about her offering a Mother's-Day-Out once a month. A few hours of babysitting for preschoolers at our house, on the same day every month, so moms can schedule their appointments and so forth for that time. She's very excited about the possibility . . . and surprisingly, so am I. It's a very cool thing to see my daughter in her zone, doing what God has gifted her to do.
(And for the record, she didn't have to give up her party, just postpone it until evening -- as in, right now, as I write. Quoth the Grinch: "Oh, the noise, noise, noise, NOISE!!")