Saturday, July 23, 2011

VBS Guilt

Last week our new church had VBS:  Vacation Bible School.  Three-fourths of my family participated either as helper or student.  I declined.

Well, technically I didn't decline; I was never directly asked to participate.  No one walked up to me and said "can you please help with VBS next week?"  But there is always a need for volunteers.

My husband is the pastoral intern at the church, so his participation was a no-brainer.

My son helped out at VBS at our last church, in the games area, and had a great time.  So he was ready to help again.  Only thing: this year he didn't get games. He was placed in the kindergarten class!  He was a good sport, though: "I would have liked to do games, but, I guess this is where they need me."  That's the spirit a mom wants to see.

My daughter's participation was not certain till the last moment.  Last year she was a helper at VBS, but this church's classes go up to age 12.  So, she had to go back to being a student.  Not an easy thing to do!   But she was a good sport and went along with it.

I think most 12-year-old who have been consistently going to church and Sunday School are too old for VBS.  I'm sure it's great for kids who aren't immersed in Bible stories all the time.   But the kids who are?  They need something more, and that is not generally provided by VBS.   Besides, the prizes are just so silly and little kid-ish.   She would have learned more by helping in a classroom.  But, oh well.

I'm glad she went because I took those mornings for myself.  I had a to-do list to conquer and I did get a good bit of it done.  When they walked out the door on Monday morning, I hit the list and didn't stop till it was time to pick up the kids at noon.

By Wednesday, though, we were down to one car.  I lost some time driving everyone church in the morning.  That was unfortunate, but, you know, things happen.  It reminded me of our first two years here, when life with one car was the standard.   We got used to having two cars! 

On Friday I did stop and have some cafe time in between dropping everyone off and going to an appointment.   Coffee at home is cheaper, but reading in a cafe feels so luxurious. 

There wasn't time for the hammock, and mostly it was too hot anyway.  I'm mostly happy with the work I got done.

But throughout the week I did feel that pang of guilt for not helping at the VBS.  There were women there who'd been teaching VBS for 15 years.  It never occurs to them to take a break.  I've done it, oh, I don't know, 5 times.  Maybe 4. And I needed a break.

So maybe next year I'll work VBS again.  Next summer we should be moving.  Maybe we can time it so that we're traveling during VBS week.  Or maybe the timing will be such that we'll catch VBS and both old church and new.  I don't think I want to contemplate that too hard.

Everyone's sleeping a little late this morning.  VBS is tiring.  Well, I'm not sleeping in because I'm not that tired.  I feel pretty good!  And not guilty anymore.


wayside wanderer said...

Nothing produces guilt quite like VBS, does it?

SmallWorld at Home said...

I love taking VBS breaks. I generally help full-time one year and then maybe just a night or two the next year. And I totally agree--12 is too old for VBS. My 10-year-old was SO happy to have his last year this summer! He can't wait to help out!

Betsy N. said...

As "sad" as it is that we didn't have VBS at Cornerstone this year, I'm thankful for the break. My summer list is way too big. Sometimes priorities need to shift - and it's ok!