Saturday, July 27, 2013

Blowing Horns and Bible Lessons

So, this week the kids had VBS. For the uninitiated, or those who don't "talk Christian," VBS stands for Vacation Bible School, and our church offers it five mornings a week for one week each July. So many churches offer VBS, and our kids have attended several other ones. What's interesting is that the messages the kids learn are the same, but the methods of delivery vary widely.

At our church? VBS means music, dancing, outdoor games, crafts, educational video time, "Bible adventures" where costumed characters act out stories, an occasional fog show, and candy -- lots and lots of candy -- with about 100 or more other kids.

And then there's the darned horn.

This was Anna's fifth year participating in VBS, and Ethan's third (but his first year with the "big kids" rather than preschool). We've come a long way. I think I would have sensory overload after spending a week with that crowd. But as well as he's adjusted, there's always something. I'll call it the "thorn in his side."

"How was VBS?" I asked the first day.

"I liked everything," he answered. "There was only one thing I didn't like. You know what it was? That horn."

Ah, the horn. I'd forgotten about the horn. You know, one of those crazy, ridiculous things you see kids blowing into at parades or fireworks shows, because their parents were insane enough to buy them and apparently wish for constant migraines?

Actually, I've never seen the horn at our VBS, but that's what I picture. At least the way Ethan describes it. Apparently, the horn is what they use to signal to all of the kids that it's time to transition to a different station.

"It was so loud, Mama. I covered my ears." I pictured Ethan in a nervous panic, looking at his watch, wondering when the next horn-blowing transition would occur.

The following morning, at the breakfast table, I was met with resistance.

"Ah, not that VBS AGAIN. I don't want to go!"


"Because they have that horn!"

Yet when we got to the church Ethan eagerly scampered in and started singing the song playing, looking happy as a clam. I considered talking to the teacher about warning him when the horn was coming, but she looked frazzled enough.

A side note: To those adults willing to take a five mornings off during the summer to spend with hordes of hyperactive kids, I say thank you, thank you, thank you. I feel the way about you that I feel about preschool teachers, or daycare workers. I don't know how you do it. I'd need a couple of weeks' vacation to recover.

Each day, things got a little better. One day Ethan told me he wasn't scared of the horn outside, only inside. Then he told me he didn't cover his ears. At one point we were talking about one of the Bible points ("Prayer helps us to stand strong") and I told him he could ask God to help him not be so afraid of the horn.

He may have been distracted a little by the evil horn, but he was listening to the message each day. One evening we were watching a movie with the kids and came to a bit of a scary part and Anna screamed. Anna despises anything even remotely frightening. Ethan looked over at her and said, "Don't worry, Anna. Ask God and He will help you to stand strong and not be afraid."

Yesterday was the last day. Both kids bounded up to me, candy and prizes in hand, going on and on about how much fun they'd had.

"Remember guys," I said. "You have VBS on Monday, too."

"Awwww, noooo," Ethan replied.

"Ethan, it's VBS at Anna's school."

"Oh?? Yea!!" he cheered. I was puzzled. "Why do you like that VBS better?" I asked.

"Mamma, you KNOW why," he said matter-of-factly. "At that VBS they don't have that horn!"

1 comment:

Floortime Lite Mama said...

I adore his last line
I too don't know how teachers do it either