Amidst all the general chaos and busyness one very bright light was a visit from Jasmine. No, not the Disney Princess (although she does bear a striking resemblance to the animated heroine!), Jasmine, the thirteen year old daughter of our friends, Brian and Jean. Last year Brian and Jean moved to Ottawa with their family of six children. Brian and Jean are Cate’s godparents and we miss them dearly. Darren and Brian used to go for weekly walks and discuss all things theological and intellectual. Jean and I would commiserate over the joys and challenges of motherhood. Jasmine, the eldest of the six, was our go-to babysitter. We used to joke about flying her out from Ottawa so that Darren and I could go on a date!
So when the opportunity came up to host Jasmine for three weeks this summer, we said we could be delighted. And we were! Not only was Jasmine extremely helpful with the kids, she gave us a foretaste of life with a teenager. I think the two things that stand out the most for me was having extended interesting conversations with Jasmine (we are just beginning to get to that point with Ben) and watching “Anne of Green Gables” with her. Re-watching the classic series was made even more enjoyable by seeing Jasmine’s reaction to the action on-screen: “No! Don’t kiss him!…Ugh, he’s old! (Sorry Dave Foley)… (squeals of delight as Anne and Gilbert kiss on the bridge at the conclusion of the Sequel).” Her reactions duplicated mine when I was thirteen, and it was wonderful to revisit the feeling of being totally, undeniably, and absolutely in love with Gilbert Blythe.
Jasmine also saved my bacon at Vacation Bible School week. I led all the kids at the music station (which, by the way, requires lots of practice and a willingness to make a total fool of yourself, including bouncing around and playing a LOT of air guitar) and Jasmine made all of that possible by watching John at the daycare area provided for the leaders with little children. Two years ago when I was doing the music, Cate got really nervous being by herself at the daycare and ended up coming to be with me. So I know what it is like to try to lead multiple groups of children in song and dance all while holding a sad and tired toddler on your hip. This year Cate really enjoyed the daycare and John, who really took a shine to Jasmine, ended up napping in her arms on most of the days. So cute. And I couldn’t have done it without her.
So Jasmine, thank you for coming out and spending time with our family. It was so nice to get to know you better and to get a preview of life with older children. I’m really looking forward to your next visit (hopefully we’ll see everyone too next time!)
Oddly enough, Darren and I never did get out for a date while Jasmine was here. Oh well, we’ll just make sure to schedule one in for next summer.