Last year I was a big baby and blogged about the hellishness of having vacation bible school and swim practice on the same days. This year I grew up a little, which is good considering I turned 40 last month (more on that later). I enjoyed both VBS and swim practice tremendously and wouldn't have given up either one for more sleep, and that is saying a lot.
We're talking over 2000 kids!
Originally I had hoped to sit out this VBS and kick back. But my oldest begged me to be her leader. I told her, please I need a break, but like always she ignored me. She gave me the old unfairness line, that it was so unfair that I was her sister's leader last year and not anyone else's. By the way, that ploy doesn't work on me; if it's one thing I've learned from having 4 kids who are complete opposites, it's that every kid needs something different.
I finally gave in, not because of her fairness logic but because I was surprised that she really wanted me as her leader. This was after an entire year of being taught by moi, an entire year of me ordering her around during school and after hours. If she still wants me after all that, who am I to deny her? This is also just a few years before she she hits adolescence, before she starts to draw away from me and starts denying me publicly. I may forget my children's names from time to time, but I still recognize a good opportunity when I come across it!
It is amazing how many good outcomes have arisen because I've been forced to do something for the kids.
I loved being a group leader for 4th grade. The kids were smart, sweet, and fun. I didn't have to drag anyone to the restroom and tell them to just try, like I had to last year, and I didn't worry if occasionally one kid wandered off on his own. The kids were old enough to understand the real gist of the gospel message, instead of just being stuck on Jesus as a mere friend. And I got to sing and dance along with Jana Alayra, instead of being a bystander who is too mature to do silly dance moves. (Jana is to Christian children's music like Gaga is to mediocre synthesizer music with stupid outfits).
What I loved most was getting to know the kids. While we stood around and waited for our activity rotations, the kids often opened up about their families and lives. One kid gave me his entire itinerary for his upcoming trip, another blabbed on about her parents and siblings, spilling secrets her parents would have been horrified about.
During one conversation with a set of fraternal twins, the larger twin remarked that he actually ate much less than his smaller twin. They told me that the smaller twin eats almost double the food as the larger twin. I said something innocuous to the smaller twin, like "Where does it all go?" He then proceeded to go into detail about his bowel movements, telling me how often he goes and how big they are. I am not kidding.
Apparently, the male obsession with BM's begin early.
Now that I've been the leader for two of my kids, I'm pretty much committed to doing this for the other two. After that, the first two want another turn. Translation: I'll be volunteering at VBS until I die. Or at least until I'm too old to dance to praise songs. At which point you can consider me as good as dead.
VBS rocks! And I'm not just saying that because it's over.