Monday, September 29, 2008

Precious Parenting Moment

Ever have one of those precious parenting moments where everything you've done wrong raising your child flashes before your very eyes?

Last night I took my baby to a different church so he could start attending Awanas. And boy, was there such a mixture of emotions.

First, I felt like I was betraying my church when I walked into a different building ... and since half of my church reads this blog, please know that we would never, ever leave the church. I just need to get Hunter involved in something extra that is structured and more challenging for his age. Something that is not taught by me, if you know what I mean.

After I checked him in, we walked around to his class. A sweet friend of ours that goes to our church takes her child there too, so being greeted by a familiar face for Hunter was a plus. Once he got into the class, I sat back and observed. And it brought tears to my eyes.

It made me realize how behind my child is. He doesn't know what criss-cross-apple-sauce means. He didn't understand what standing in line means. He didn't know how to play "follow the leader" type games. In fact, I think it was the first time he played duck-duck-goose. I know I'm a new parent, but it made me feel guilty and sad that he didn't know these things. It also made me feel sad that he wasn't potty trained when fall enrollment came along for pre-school at the Christian Academy we want to send him to... at least until I found out that their age cut-off is birthdays ending on September 30. Then I didn't feel as bad.

Anyway -- they had a puppet show, and he sat still for the whole thing. Then at game time, they played a relay race where the children broke out in teams and they had to scoop up cotton balls onto a spoon without touching them. He had a blast! And he did really well, too -- considering that he is just turning 3 next week, and the rest of the kids are 4 and 5.

Then they had craft time. They passed out paper and had crayons on the tables. Then... one of the teachers mentioned glue... and you would have thought my child was presented with a five katrillion karat diamond. "Ooooooohhhhhhh.... GLUE!!!"

Stab me in the heart, whydontcha.

I was really impressed at how well behaved all the children were. They listened, obeyed, and were helpful and kind to each other. I really see the merit in having a badge and reward system with a children's program. In fact, I think its the longest Hunter has sat still in one evening! A record was set!!!

When we got home, we ate dinner, and he kept talking about "my class, my class." It was so sweet. We started working on his memory verses (he has to play catch up), and he was repeating them back to me.

Our church is just in the burgeoning stages of growth... and soon, we'll have a lot of kids where we would be able to offer this type of program for all ages too, and I can't wait. My friend has been working hard at having a mid-week program at our church similar to this one, and she's doing a great job. Our group of children present their own set of challenges, but I've decided to change the way I pray for them... because there is so much potential!! I see in them the future teachers and leaders of the church, which presents us with our very own missions field right before our very eyes. Its exciting, to say the very least!


Mommy Cracked said...

I'll be praying for your church as well. Glad he enjoyed himself so much!

Beth/Mom2TwoVikings said...

What an awesome time and a learning, stretching experience for you both!

And, you bring up another point that's been troubling us too. With DaHubby working so hard at school, he's been staying home from our regular church services on Sunday morning for some quiet time to get homework done w/me and the Vikings gone. It breaks my heart to not go all together especially when DaHubby's has been the co-P&W leader and lead piano player up til now.

Our church - which is where our hearts are and where we *know* God wants us - is also a small but quickly growing congregation. When we arrived, we were the only ones under 40 in a Sunday AM service of about 30-40 people. A year later, we were still the only ones with kids. Now, four years after that we're easily breaking 120 weekly and having about 20-30 kids in Sunday school...but only for those who are school-aged.

Yet, there's a nearby church within walking distance. Very large. Similar enough denomination. Amazing kid programs and service on Saturday night.

I tentatively mentioned to DaHubby that the nearby church's constant ads for Sat PM service (which we could attend together as a family) and the wonderful word-of-mouth I hear on the "SAHM grapevine" about the kids' programs had me thinking lately - but I felt guilty for even considering it.

How are you dealing with your "dual" commitments to both places?

Tara said...

Hey, don't feel badly! He has to learn about standing in line, criss cross applesauce and duck duck goose sometime! What better place than in the loving arms of a Christian organization?

And if he's not potty trained at almost three, heck, pat yourself on the back for even being concerned about that. He's a boy. It's okay. My boys were three or three 1/2 by the time they realized what the whole potty business was all about. (And I've recently done a blog post about Potty Training Boot(y) Camp you might enjoy!)

He's not behind. He is right where he needs to be.

Sandy said...

Our boys did AWANAS and it was a great program. There are so many awesome programs in different churches, it is fun and exciting to be a part of different bodies!

Go Hunter! :)

Cindy said...

I agree it's good to stay with the church that has the theology and look for good programs elsewhere for the kids...not something everyone does, though! :)

Thanks for stopping by! (Glad to see who you're supporting for President).