For someone like me for whom family traditions, holidays and birthdays are of paramount im-portance, having my kids attend Vacation Bible School in the same church I grew up in last week was a little extra special.
I have very fond memories of that church and of attending Vacation Bible School myself. My mother taught several times when I was little so my mother, brother, sister and I were all together. As I got older, I volunteered to help out with the younger classes.
Before we moved back to the Cleveland area, I was pretty involved in our church in Marietta where I taught Sunday School for several years and headed up one of the church’s committees. We haven’t been as involved since relocating, so I was doubly thrilled all three of my kids were able to spend the week doing the same crafts and learning the same songs and stories I’d learned.
The week typically ends with a program/concert, which is more for the parents than for the stu-dents, followed by a family ice cream social.
My oldest, 9-year-old Ryan had been asked to join the two other boys his age and perform a “solo” of sorts during the concert. Being as pathologically shy as I am, he wavered between wanting to be included with his new friends and stage fright. He finally agreed to do it.
The big day dawned beautifully. By 6 p.m. the skies were dark. By 6:30 p.m. the church was without power as a nasty thunderstorm raged outside. Saddened at the loss of the puppet show, the grownups decided to hold the concert near some exterior doors in the fellowship hall where there was just enough light to see.
The kids must have felt like celebrities with all the flash bulbs going off as they sang. Parents chuckled at the 3- and 4-year-olds who were swaying side to side and signing their hearts out. We sent warning looks to the older kids who were poking and prodding each other and clapping like crazy for the brave (and obviously nervous) kids who had special parts in the program.
It was all over in less than 20 minutes, but it was the best 20 minutes I had all week. Eating ice cream by flashlight with three goofy, happy kids who are going to grow up in the same church I did made it as much a treasured memory for me as it will be for them.