Saturday, July 02, 2005

I'm Back

by Marjorie
Howdy -- I was off teaching Vacation Bible School last week, which is why I didn't post -- I was too darned tired. Anne knew that but I just thought I'd share the reason with our dear readers. I've come to the conclusion that involvement in such kiddie activities is not for me.

VBS is well run; the administrators are models of efficiency; and its a great opportunity to meet other moms and dads. But the whole schoolish environment is not my bag and I'm not good at it. Suzanne adjusted to it at the end pretty well, but I just don't see it as necessary and the opportunity cost is not worth it to me.

Though there was one year I really enjoyed VBS [yes, another Ode to Anne is coming], it was when I helped Anne in the kindergarten classroom three years ago. It felt a lot like re-living sorority rush -- not that that was something I'd need to re-live, but the decorations and uniform t-shirts and happy, bright, cheery songs reminded me of rush. "Come little rushie, listen to me, Christ-i-anity is the religion for me." Anyway, working with a good friend is the way to do these types of things. Unfortunately, none of my good friends will teach with me....I wonder why?

No matter, I'm learning to take experiences for what they are and look at what they teach me rather than try to judge them as good or bad. Perhaps my Eastern philosophical bent these days points out that plugging Christianity to kids is not my talent. Of course, I don't think this line of thinking is purely Eastern, Jesus has a lot to say about not judging things as well, but sometimes I 'hear' better when I read it elsewhere.

Oh yeah, Suzanne was asking me about death the other day. I think I bumbled it a bit. I've put a request in at our library for the book The Next Place. I have no idea if this book will be helpful, but its very gentle. Any suggestions are welcome.


Blogger clanlally said...

Erin has lost both of her great grandma's in the last couple of years. She was too little to understand the first but we took her to the memorial service for my wife's grandmother, Velma. She uses the term "die" and "dead" but doesnt inherently grok it yet. She wonders where they are now. She also wonders where her grandfathers are...she doesnt have any. She, I swear, thinks they are in Florida near Disney World. We have no idea where this came from but we roll with it.

We talk about an afterlife. We talk about her grandmother's watching over us. That they are still with us in our hearts. That their bodies just stopped working. She seems to take that at face value. I tried telling her that heaven is going to Fenway Park everyday, its always 75 with a nice breeze blowing in from center field and many home runs are hit over the Green Monster. Karen yelled at me for we stick with the "watching over us" line. :)

3:57 PM  
Blogger Marjorie said...

I like your tips, thanks. I can see why the ball park theme wouldn't work -- DH is a Yankees fan and I'd never tell my kids that heaven is like Yankee stadium in the Bronx, with drunk fans and dancing groundskeepers and me on Diamond Vision ("Its all you, babe")

6:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maria Shriver wrote a children's book called "What's Heaven"; I used it for my kids. Enjoying the chocolate and peanut butter. ; )

10:16 AM  
Blogger Larry said...

I agree with you about VBS, in fact about every sort of indoctrination at whatever age.

Re indoctrinating children: I suspect it's just as apt to be counter productive as otherwise, more so in fact if and when they reach adolescence.

All the Quakers I know have a horror of indoctrination; in fact most of them would not even think of inviting anyone to the meeting; however I have no such qualms.

In fact I became more evangelical when I became a Quaker, maybe because they all were so unevangelical.

Blessings to you and Tom-- and the kiddies-- and Anne and hers.

10:52 AM  
Blogger Anne Zelenka said...

That was really fun when we taught VBS together. A little bit like rush, yes, but in a good way, that year.

When Henry was maybe three, my mom was in town and took him to preschool one day. They drove past a cemetery and Henry said, "what's that?" My mom said, "oh, that's where they bury dead people." Henry said, "what does dead mean?" My mom was horrified that she had introduced him to the concept of death. But he didn't get worked up about it. Anna hasn't either--she learned about it through movies and by the death of our fish. I wonder if they just naturally accept it and understand it on the level that suits them.

1:39 PM  

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