Call Me “Director”
I am coordinating our church’s Vacation Bible School. This is my third consecutive year to direct this program, and consequently, I have a fairly solid staff of repeat volunteers. However, working with volunteers is almost amusing and sometimes frustrating. I called a volunteer from last year and asked if she’d be available to assist this year. She said, “Yes, I would, but I really don’t want to work with a group of children.” Well, hello!? That’s kind of what we do.
I did understand what she meant, though. She wanted to teach, not interact on a one-on-one as a crew leader. I suggested she be the preschool craft director and voila! A happy volunteer.
I do find I move through stages of organizing in a fairly predictable steps. The first step is: “Oh no, why did I agree to do this?” That’s quickly followed by: “This is going to be a disaster! No one is going to participate! No one is going to help!” Then, my final step: “Only three weeks and this will all be over, no matter what!”
I’m on the final step. Three weeks and this whole thing will be just a memory. We’ll probably have 100 children participate and 30+ volunteers when it’s all said and done.
This afternoon, we went to the pool. Some family friends joined us–mom, dad and two boys, ages 4 and 2 and a half. I got into the pool with Babygirl and watched as they plopped their littlest boy into the pool, too. Both mom and dad sat near the pool, chatting and half-heartedly watching.
Then, mom says, “Hello, hello, hello, hello, hello, NOLAN!” When she first started hello-ing, I looked around toward her, then when she yelled Nolan’s name, I looked back to the pool and saw him floating, face down, about six feet from me. I scrambled to get my feet under me so I could reach him, but before I could, his dad crashed into the water and snatched him up. Nolan was fine, but cautious and after that, his mom put his life-jacket on him. I thought, I would never have put him in this pool alone. I am a much better mother, even though she looks so much better in a swimsuit than I do.
Wouldn’t you know it, just awhile later, right in front of me, as I watched, Babygirl suddenly capsized and sank like a rock. I plucked her out of the water and she sputtered, wide-eyed, like she’d seen a mermaid in those twelve inches of water. I said, “You went underwater. Are you okay?” And she coughed a bit, and said, “Unner, wa-wa.” And then touched her head. “Hair. Wet.” She was nonplussed. Later in the afternoon, she lost her footing again while she was hopping and she dunked herself entirely again. I stood her on her feet and she choked and did that barky kind of seal-cough and then she was fine.
The only thing worse than a child being terrified of the water is a child who is not at all terrified of the water. They are both in danger of drowning without a sound if you look away for one second.
For that matter, that’s how I feel about coordinating VBS . . . in danger of drowning without a sound. In three weeks it will be all over. I can do this. I can. I can.