Today I dropped my daughter off at the last day of Vacation Bible School. Three years ago in one fell swoop I overcame my internal difficulties with sending my children to church functions; the decision was made easier by the fact my daughter especially loves, unreservedly, anything involving church. However I’d avoided this particular VBS installment – despite my appreciation for the free and, to my way of thinking, high-quality childcare experience – due to rumors of this church’s recent decision that amount to politics (anti-gay) I personally disagree with. But yesterday a child who had spent the week in the day camp invited Sophie, and I decided to come off my principles a bit – principles which I’m also well aware had not been personally investigated with regards to this church.
At 9 AM my daughter is the picture of well-scrubbed simplicity, ponytail and dress and little tennis shoes and she asks me as far along as to seat her in the pew at which point the super-friendly, energectic grownups introduce themselves and I feel her little psyche pull its hand away from mine. I move to the back of the sanctuary for a moment. It’s all smiles, people taking care of our children with the utmost care and perception of their interests and needs. Outside in our summer morning I see the playground across the street set up with games, balls, chairs, ropes. I step outside to head back home, glad for the Sophie’s opportunity and mine.
I’ve been enjoying Nels so very much. Yesterday afternoon while Sophie went swimming with my mother, my son and I shelled peas from our garden together and just talked; mostly, about the things he wanted to (he has lots to say). Last night he set the table before ceremoniously laying out his own contribution to our dinner – clover, buttercups, and cherries from our tree. His knowledge of edible wild plants and flowers is merely a continuation of his gardening interest and abilities, which easily outstrip mine (Abbi would be proud of especially his foraging; she’s a forager at heart as well). He gives me inspiration to keep growing, to keep learning.
Last night the boy and I shared a sundae at the deli and he repeatedly asked for “Barack Obama” ice cream; when pressed further, he grew more frustrated and said something that sounded like “Broccoli…”. I finally realized he was trying to repeat Rocky Road, a recent addition to his food repertoire. We topped the ice cream with hot fudge and sprinkles – on his half only.