Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Bringing home the hardware from Bible camp

The final day of Vacation Bible School (VBS) brought home a welcome surprise.

Last week three of our kids attended VBS at our local parish.

It was a bitter sweet week for our oldest. This is the last year she falls within the age limits. She is eager to graduate to be a helper next year. I'm proud of her; she generally shies away from these types of ways to serve. So that will be a big step for her and building confidence.

When I got home from work each day, the kids were excited to show me their daily cache of artwork, crafts, saint cards and other goodies.

On the final day, I didn't have time to ask how their last day was. Our 4 year old, who was proud to be old enough to attend this year, excitedly showed me a trophy as soon as I walked through the door.

Before I proceed, let me share a bit about our four year old. She is super cute. She can be a great helper, sweet as honey showering us with, "I love you." She loves to snuggle. But there is a darker side. We sometimes describe her as a volcano—beautiful to look at while she's dormant, but a threat to everyone around her when she's erupting, which could be at any moment.

I know what you're thinking, "All pre-schoolers are a little emotional and unpredictable." True, but she is the Mt. Vesuvius of children. I'm not talking a beautiful Hawaiian volcano. No, she's unpredictable mass destruction with adorable blonde curls.

Waking up in the morning can either be happy and cheerful, or she's more ornery than the most sever caffeine addict before her morning fix.

Mealtimes can be pleasant, or she can cry and whine for hours because she has the wrong cup-plate-bowl colour combination, or you gave her exactly the food she requested, or her milk is too white. OK, I made that last one up, but it's not an exaggerated example; it could happen.

Bedtime can be sweet and calm and prayerful, or she can erupt because, well, at this point there doesn't need to be a reason. It's the end of the day, and she's just done. Not that there's ever a real reason for an eruption.

Ah yes, the trophy. During the week, kids were able to earn "reward points" for doing good things, being a good listener or helper, etc. Positive reinforcement 101. Our four year-old got the trophy for being the best listener/helper throughout the week!

I'm not sure if I should be proud that we raised her to be so good or feel like an incredible failure for not seeing that type of cooperation at home more often. Heck, I'm having a good day—incredibly proud it is!

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