Wednesday, July 30, 2008

VBS and a Question

Claire and I are teaching at VBS this week. She is the "Lifeguard" for first and second grade and I am the "Lifeguard" for the fifth and sixth graders.

Two days in and it has already proven to be a challenge. Claire's little ones all want to be her best friend, use her as a pillow and struggle with the idea that she is not a jungle gym. My group loves to push the bounds of authority, are terrified of being embarrassed and can't decide if they want to be "cool cats" or just kids.

One kid in particular has been a challenge for me. When he wants to be, he is sweet, charming and very smart. When he decides he is done with that, he is difficult, prone to anger outbursts, and cannot tolerate authority.

Last night, he asked if we could go outside of the group and chat. He shared with me that he had a "lot of stuff to worry about" and it makes it hard for him to behave. We chatted about the things going on in his 11 year old life and I was stunned.

I don't want to get into specifics, but he is clearly dealing with some very adult problems, most of which he should not even know about, let alone being involved in.

Last night, my heart hurt for him.


If you had 2 weeks off to do whatever you wanted what would you do? BEFORE you answer that, let me put some limitations on it.

Limitation #1 - Travel more than 2 hours is barred and overnight travel is limited to 1 night.
Limitation #2 - You have to do anything you schedule alone.
Limitation #3 - You have a limited budget to work with.

Okay, let your mind go. What would you do with 2-weeks off from responsibility?


Wonderful World of Weiners said...

You ask a fun question like that and then put limitations on it?


Go to the beach. Sit. Read. Relax. Tan myself silly.


(I work for a program that assesses children for risk and safety issues. You can't imagine how bad some of these kiddos have it and how "parentified" they have to be to survive)

sigh... :(

The Charming Hedonist said...

Dealing with adult problems as a kid sucks.

As for what I would do.... I would explore my town like a tourist. I love stuff like that.

Katelin said...

oh man i can't imagine working with such young kids, i have brothers and that's enough youngins for me.

and as for two weeks off by myself, i'm not quite sure where i'd go. but that would be sort of nice.

rs27 said...

I would go to the beach, write a screenplay and sell it to a homeless guy.

Homeless people need screenplays

Laura B. said...

Wow,'s hard knowing that our little ones are dealing with so much.

Let's see...the two hour travel limit is the killer...because if I could I'd drive to the beach and be a bum.

Stacie said...

hmmm, spend some time at a spa...can you say couples massage?

go to the beach...with a new book.

that might sum it up for me...

for a different kind of girl said...

While my heart hurts for this boy and what he is struggling with, I think it's wonderful he felt safe enough with you to share, and hope that releasing some of his pain is helpful.

Now, for the two-weeks thing - I'm pretty limited where I am on the whole two hour travel limit, but I could overnight in a nice hotel and just enjoy some of the sites. Then I'd want to just take the time to read the stack and stacks and stacks of books I've acquired in the last month, do some uninterupted writing, and maybe get some things in my life organized. Probably not glamorous, but refreshing.

Nashville? said...

Its unfair what we allow to happen to our children. Good to hear someone is worrying on behalf of the little guy.


Two weeks? Why alone? Golf the Robert Trent Jones Jr Golf Trail in Alabama. Just heard good things (

McSwain said...

Your VBS experience sounds much like teaching school. There are always a few kids like the one you describe who keep me up at night worrying for them, wondering what I can do to make it at least a little better.

As for the vacation time--if I couldn't actually go anywhere, I think I'd like to actually read through a few books, go to plays, and BBQ with friends.

kimmy said...

We had a great time at the game. Beckett had a rough start and there were 4 errors in the game, but we still had a great time.

It seems that Manny is always rustling feathers somewhere. It happens every year. Who knows. He did get booed a few times on the field when he came up to bat, which rarely happens. I think some of the fans are fed up with him and his antics, while others could care less. Just recently, he was booed like nobody's business in the 7th when he took his time getting to first base instead of trying to break the pitchers no-hitter.

Like they say, "It's just Manny being Manny!"


Schell Family said...

You could never survive 2 weeks completely alone...why put that limitation on the rest of us :)!?

I don't think I'd do anything grand, just do what I want when I want - with 2 young kids, I'm pretty much on their schedule! I'd sleep when I wanted, eat when I wanted and go where I wanted when I wanted, even if it was just to the store!

Mabunny said...

Hey There! I've seen you on Hallies blog comments a few times, so thought I'd pop on over here! gret minds think alike too, you have the same blog template that I do:))
Anyway, hope all works out well with that little guy. I've known some children that were in my daughters class or wahtever that have stuff going on they shouldn't know about too. I hope that since he trusted you to tell you what was going on that maybe you can help him.

As for your question, I'm not sure. It's been so long since I just had to think of ME, and not hubby and kiddo included in any scenario that I'm not sure what I'd do.
Read. I know that as a given.
Probably not travel far, but find a nice quiet B and B in the hill country , eat food that I don't have to prepare.
Take walks- as much as I could handle.
Thats it for now... have to think more on that though.
Come by and visit me:))
oh, and have a great day!

Practically Joe said...

It's sad that sometimes kids have to grow up way too fast.

And the answer to your question is an easy one for me to answer. Of course, I'd want to have loads of fun doing exciting things and discovering all the joys of living ... I've been reading your posts long enough to know I'd head out to P-Towne to hang out with you and Claire. That was an invitation, wasn't it???