There is nothing more fun than missionaries with small children. I'm tellin' ya. This evening we had the Sullivant family in our home from Winkler, Manitoba, who are on deputation going to Thailand. The family consists of Dad, Mom, 5-year-old girl, 3-year-old boy, and 1-year-old boy. My children, as you may recall, are 16 and 14 years old - about on the same level as the two older Sullivant children! ;) After dinner, we were sitting around talking. Andrew and Beth had the younger family members over on the sofa, talking to them. Now Andrew has this knack with children. He looks them in the eye, earnestly, and asks them a question. He then listens intently to their answer, agreeing with their opinions, and just generally making them feel like they are just as big as Andrew is. They. love. him.
Well. We knew things were pretty serious over there, but we weren't aware of just how serious until after the family left for their hotel. The guys had been discussing last names. Specifically, 3-year-old boy's last name. Which, as you might guess, is Sullivant. Andrew asked what young Sullivant's last name is, expecting, of course, to be told it is . . . well, Sullivant. But he was SO wrong. It seems that young Mr. Sullivant's last name is DE FIRD. Because his dad's last name is Junior. Beth lost her composure at this point. Andrew did not. He very seriously asked what Mr. De Fird's middle name is. It is __________ Sullivant. And of course his first name is his first name. Everyone knows that. Next question: Is your brother's last name De Fird? No. He doesn't have a last name, but his middle name is ____________ Sullivant. And big sister? Does she have a last name? Nope. But her middle name is _____________ Sullivant. All this time, Beth is about to choke to death, and Andrew is still cool as a cucumber.
We have a toy camera that has pictures of animals in it. Andrew was testing De Fird's knowledge of animals. Did you know that a hippopotamus is actually a hipponobinous? And a pelican is a giant duck. And a kangaroo is a huge rabbit. Buffalo? Moose! Funniest animal name ever to De Fird? Peacock! Just rolled laughing over that one.
Apparently young De Fird believes that Andrew is a grown man. He asked Andrew where his children are. Andrew very solemnly says, "Oh, I don't have any children." Wes and I pick up on this conversation and say, "Andrew is our kid." Young Mr. De Fird has trouble comprehending this fact. His response to us . . . a disbelieving, doubtful "Noooooooooo"
We get to have this delightful family with us again tomorrow afternoon for dinner. But before that is church. And Sunday school. I teach Sunday school. I'll let you know what I learn.