Monday, June 20, 2011

Clap Clap Whoosh: VBS lessons

Clap. Clap. Whoosh.

It's a neat trick one of the leaders used to get the children's attention. They quietened down after that Clap. Clap. Whoosh-technique.

We learned that in Vacation Bible School. My son is too young for VBS and I am too old. We went to Son Rock Kids Camp anyway.

VBS was a highlight of my childhood summers. I made my profession of faith at VBS. We attended every summer along with friends.

I offered to help with snacks. My initial thought: oh, sure I can drop off cookies. I had it all wrong.

Snacks at the Hungry Bear Lodge involved time in the kitchen, organization and a whole lot more than "dropping off cookies." My terror level of what have I gotten myself into went up to code orange. My panic system matches the old Homeland Security chart. My terror wasn't at the highest level, but it was close.

I didn't know how I would meet my commitment with a clinging one-year-old.

The experience was a great lesson on faith for me. If I had realized the extent of the time and work commitment, I never would have volunteered. It's the truth. The scope of the project fell outside my comfort zone.

Thankfully, a funny thing happened on the way to VBS — it all worked out.

The other mom volunteer with a toddler was a pro on snacks. The VBS director found a teen to assist in food preparation and child wrangling. I took a pack and play. Enzo tolerated his "baby containment unit" for a bit each day, happily bounced along on my hip and walked around aimlessly.

Lessons I learned:
  • With help watching Enzo, I was able to contribute to a program the children loved. Pretty cool that kids love their time learning about Jesus.
  • Moms can do a lot with one hand while the other clutches to a child.
  • VBS became a perfect setting to get to know our church family better.
  • Enzo enjoyed interacting with the other children — of all ages.
  • While Enzo ate pretzel crumbs off the floor isn't ideal, it's better than eating dead flies. (Someone shared that story of how children living on a ranch tried to eat dead flies).
  • As my writing time shrunk, I wrote more — more words and more efficiently.
  • I'm happy I pushed through my anxiety. If I had not volunteered, I would have missed out on a fun time.
Now that I know I can do it, sign me (and Enzo) up for snacks next year. I know we'll survive and have fun time doing it.

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