Moments of Clarity

If you have been following this silly little blog for a while, you know that we are Catholic and while my husband was not raised Catholic, we have agreed to raise our children this way.

I would like to humbly point out that I am not here to convert you or anything of the sort. Lord knows we’ve seen that for thousands of years, eh? I just love sharing moments of when our kids are happy though “happy” is not the word I would use to describe them on Monday afternoon. On Monday they started a week-long Vacation Bible School.

The oldest was concerned. Was this a sleepaway camp? He surely wasn’t ready for that yet. Good grief, I am not ready for that yet.

The youngest didn’t mind. Her church-going experience doesn’t really involve going to church. L attends Kinderchurch, probably the equivalent to other churches’ Sunday School sessions.

The middle one, however, had issues. Vocal issues. This is coming from the girl who brought her journal to mass and proceeded to draw and write for the entire mass. I allowed her to because she hadn’t attended a full mass since she was a baby and wasn’t quite used to sitting still for that duration of time.

After a mass last year, Sister C asked A what she learned in church today. A showed her the picture she drew during mass. The picture was a drawing of a vampire.

I had never gone to Vacation Bible School and neither had the kids. And although this VBS came highly recommended, I didn’t feel comfortable dropping off the kids in a place I didn’t know (VBS was held at a neighboring Catholic parish) with people I had never met so what did I do?

Yep, I volunteered to be a Group Leader! I was M’s group leader too!

I was very impressed by the number of teenagers who volunteered the entire week. What great role models! They ran stations, performed skits, and taught so many different things from art to dance, from Bible games to Bible verses. Kids who were attending VBS for the last time as “campers” would return as “camp counselors” next year.

It was really touching actually to see this many people across generations in a community come together to guide our youth, to have fun, and to promote acts of charity. Families donated over six hundred cans this week to the local food bank!

The kids did art,

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reflected on lessons of the day in journals,

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listened to older kids perform skits (me included! yikes!),

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and had snacks too. What? Is that a smile on the middle one’s face?

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Can’t forget about these pics. I am not kidding you. All three were mortified that I took this picture! Ha! If they only knew the embarassment to come…

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Just when I think that I am pretty satisfied with the volunteer work I have done, when I think “Maybe I won’t volunteer next year”, I happened to peek into the middle’s dance session.

I stood by the door so she wouldn’t see me and stop dancing. I looked at this seven year old trying to stay in time with the music, trying to clap when the teacher clapped, trying to sway when the others swayed.

I looked at this girl who’s personality is so similar to mine that I forget that is the reason why we clash more often than the other two. The look on her face was pure joy. The same as mine as when I saw her face for the very first time that spring day in Texas so many years ago.

In that moment I felt her presence, her energy, this personality sometimes so overbearing but the carbon copy of mine and the carbon copy of my grandmother who died three days before the middle was born. All of this hit me so hard all at once in a split second during her class that I felt so overwhelmed with emotion. I had to lean against the wall next to me and hold back tears. Which emotion or emotions? Even now I think about that moment and my eyes fill up with tears. Elation, joy, grace, contentedness…

Moments like these are not wont for description; they are meant to be experienced, cherished, remembered. Is it a coincidence that I would have this moment at VBS with this particular child? Was I meant to feel this way wherever I was at that moment of time? My mother, as deeply religious and oddly deeply superstitious to boot, would tell you that this was a message from my grandmother, her mother.

But I would tell you that these answers do not matter to me, only that these questions exist.

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