“Do you have any kids?”
“Then why are you helping with VBS?!”
“Because I have TIME”
I’ve always promised myself that I would help with my church’s VBS program whenever I eventually had more free time in the summer. I assumed it would be when I had kids, but by some stroke of good fortune, I now have a job that gives me summers off.
I have been given 23 first graders. Cue “Jaws” music.
They’re basically little cherubs. Just remove the wings, triple their energy level, and remove their ability to make logical, rational decisions.
If Husband is home for dinner, I regale him with stories of the day.
“We had Charlie the Gospel Worm talk to the kids this morning.”
“Gospel WORM? Seriously? What does that even mean? Where did the bracelets and the beads go?”
“Ok, ok, forget it. Oh! We have a child who’s allergic to pork.”
He slowly puts down his fork and gets a tragic look on his face. “No pork?!”
“Yeah, I know… no bacon…”
“No… it means no barbeque. Ever. That’s really, really sad”
You’d think I’d learn by now.
Charlie the Gospel Worm asked one of the kids what sin is…
Wise 1st Grader #1: “Sin is when you spill a bucket of paint on the floor and you don’t tell your mom and then it dries and she can’t get it out of the carpet. THAT’S sin.”
Today, we discussed the plagues in Egypt.
Teacher: “The seventh plague was hail. Does anyone know what hail is?”
Wise 1st Grader #2: “Hail is where the Devil lives”
I signed up to work VBS in order to meet more people. I have been so blessed with my adjustment to Memphis; God has given me some awesome small group leaders and a great Sunday School class, and some really sweet girls in my small group. But I’m lonely. I can only make so many onesies for my dog. So, instead of sitting in my apartment feeling sorry for myself, I’ve been getting out of (cliche) comfort zone.
Although I’m finding a great big chasm between the other women I’ve seen at VBS and myself. First, obviously, I don’t have children. I have one… he’s currently chewing a cardboard box underneath our guest room bed… but these ladies have real children. I don’t think saying “Your child likes to dig holes in the backyard? My dog does that, too!” will help me make friends. Plus, I’m not going to pop out a kid just so I can fit it in for next year’s VBS. Second, I don’t own enough tennis outfits. I don’t own any, actually… I’ve been reminded this week that having children around here (and most of the South) is synonymous with wearing visors and black tennis skirts. At least those who drop their kids off at VBS. I really wonder where these lycra-clad moms go off to once they leave their children with me. Do you think, if I drive through enough gates, I’ll find a tennis court teeming with these moms like someone stepped on an ant hill?
Thankfully, that’s only a small minority of women I’ve gotten to know this week. All the ladies I’ve worked with at VBS at an absolute delight to be around, even the ones in tennis outfits. I just wished I had more in common with them… other than the inability to pronounce a weather pattern and hades differently.
I understand the having-free-time dilemma. I have off for the months of June and August. I should look for more volunteer opportunities!
I understand the loneliness. When we moved to Memphis from OHIO…talk about differences……I once jokingly asked a speech therapist how she could teach folks to speak properly when she said things like, “Hai,”and “bai,” and “ol?” Translation: “Hi,” “Bye,” and “Oil”. She didn’t laugh and I don’t think she talked to me after that. 🙂 p.s. I still think my question was funny.