I have decided that I will be very open and honest with you about the thoughts churning in my head today and in the next few days. Next week is our church's vacation bible school. Jaycee attended last year and I helped out in another group. I believe my exact words on the last day last year were "I am NOT doing this with Jaycee again!"
Times passed and memories of that event dulled a little. When they announced that it was VBS time again, of course I signed Jaycee and myself up right away. It would be hard but I had a few weeks to prepare myself. Yes, I know how ridiculous it sounds to be all worked up over a church event. Yes, I know God doesn't want me stressing about VBS. The day is drawing near and I find myself in a mixed state of excitement and dread. If you don't have a special purposed child, you might think that I am being neurotic. Sometimes I even think that but I know I have a reason for thinking the thoughts that I do.
Jaycee doesn't like change. She knows routines and knows how things should look. She knows when she goes to church, she'll head to class. During VBS, her church routine is different. The church looks different too. I try to prepare her as we drove to VBS last year. "Jaycee, we are going to church school. We are not going to class. You will be doing something different but it will be fun." I say it over and over again and using sign to reinforce it. She imitates me signing. I don't know if she's comprehending it or not.
Inside the church, the elaborate decorations captivated the other children at VBS. It confused Jaycee. She could not enjoy the beauty of the decorations because they weren't suppose to be there. During the large group meeting, the other kids were excited. They sometimes were loud. Some of the leaders encouraged the kids to shout. The other kids loved it. Jaycee covered her ears, cried, and even soiled her pants. She ran out of the church trying to get away from the noise a few times. She can't speak but obviously she was upset. Parts of it were simply not fun for her. I questioned if this was a good idea. Should I bring her if she's miserable and confused? Is this going to make her hate church? Is this doing more harm than good? Maybe she needs to learn how to function in these situations. Maybe she needs to know that sometimes routines/things change and she needs to know how to adapt. I hung in there, determined to follow through after making some adjustments for the parts that were just too much for her. On the 5th and final day, she smiled a few times. She did some of the motions of the songs. She was just getting the hang of it when it was basically over. Last year was rough but we made it. Although, she did not want to go in the sanctuary at church for several weeks afterwards. She threw herself down and started to cry whenever we stepped in the sanctuary. It eventually stopped.
So here I am a few days before VBS starts giving myself a pep talk. This year will be better. She's a year older. Things will be fine. I can do this. She can do this. It will be fine. God, give me ideas on how to make this go smoother!
Tune in next week to see how it went....