Friday, June 28, 2013

Vacation Bible School

I don't remember ever hearing about Vacation Bible School as a child in Chicago--maybe it's a new thing, or maybe it's a southern thing. But every summer at Fort Worth's University Christian Church, and at churches all over, signs go up saying it's time to sign up. My children never went, though I'm sure they could have. Jacob went for the first time this year. Today, the last day, he brought home a yard sign he'd made and proudly pounded it into my front yard. His mom and I aren't sure what it says: I say "Whom will you serve?" (shaky grammar) and she says "Who will you save?" Anyway, you get the point, and you can see the pride in his face.
He also brought home stained glass cross with wind chimes hanging from it. HIs mom oohed and aahed over it and asked what he was going to do with it. Proudly he said, "I'm going to give it to Elizabeth," and Mom said, "Oh," with a bit of disappointment. But Mom and Dad got a cute picture of Jacob, framed with stars representing the people and things he loved--I wasn't included but oh well, the dogs were.
In the car today I asked if he liked VBS and he said, "Yes, it was fun learning about God. I mean I knew about God before, but now I know much more." Isn't that what it's all about? He wants to go back next year.
The last two days, however, he has snookered me into believing his folks said he didn't have to go back to day camp but could spend the afternoon with me. Caused a bit of an uproar today because they really hadn't said that. They'd even delivered his lunch box to the day camp. But I told them I thought even a seven-year-old should have some say in what he does, as long as it doesn't become a habit. And I told him that sometimes it's best not to argue but to say, "I made a mistake. I'm sorry and I won't do it again." We rushed up to the day camp (a whole block away) to retrieve the lunch that had been left for him there, so they wouldn't have that added irritant. Haven't heard what happened yet.
But I will tell you that being a grandparent gives you a whole different perspective. I don't know that I was ever harsh with my children--I hope not--but I think I see more these days (and perhaps Jacob is teaching me) the value of listening to the child and letting him have a say in his life. Gosh, why don't we know the things at thirty or forty that we know in our seventies?

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