A few weeks back our church held our VBS, which I played a big role in making it happen. Needless to say, it was crazy busy and days were packed full. My kids, didn’t complain and they enjoyed being at church early seeing it all transform. (Plus right now, they all love going to church and I pray that NEVER changes!)
But it was the first night of VBS, I went to pick up my five year old and with tears in his eyes he said, “Mommy, why am I always the last kid without a parent?”
I was caught off guard and this mama’s heart broke. I haven’t had him ask me anything like this before and honestly I really didn’t know what to say.
So, I gave my little guy a BIG hug and told him I loved him. I also got to share with him a little bit of why we were always first to arrive and last to leave: because this is why God has us here and we get to help make it special for so many people.
As I explained to him how he gets to be a friend to other kids who are still there and how Mommy gets to help make an awesome event like VBS happen, he slowly understood (as much as a five year old is able to comprehend). I saw a light bulb switch on and he realized there were still friends there waiting for their mommies and that he was one of the kiddos who gets to stay and play longer.
The rest of the week at VBS he didn’t seem to think he was “the last kid without a parent.” It was such a blessing for me to watch my son interact with the kids in his group and have so much fun being there.
Kids don’t fully understand what it means for their parents to be in ministry, let alone their mom being in ministry. But that day, my son understood that he didn’t have to be just a kid attending VBS, he got to be part of why I was there.
I think if I hadn’t taken a moment to acknowledge what he was feeling and talk it through with him, if I had just said, “Sorry, this is how it is,” the outcome would have been very different.
This is a new season for me and I am sure this is the first of many questions like this. I will navigate these waters with care and intentionality, because as a family we are called to something bigger than ourselves.
Acknowledge what they are feeling, encourage them. Remind them we’re part of a something bigger!
It’s moments like these that have the biggest impact on my kiddos life. Perhaps next time I won’t be so caught off guard. But each time, I have the opportunity to lead my children in the way they should go.
“Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.”