We’re halfway through VBS now, and I have to say, JB is a handful. He’s wiggly, he talks incessantly, he has the attention span of a gnat, and he has a hard time with waiting and transition, both! That makes him especially challenging at VBS. Anticipating all of that, I tried a few techniques to make JB’s VBS more enjoyable for him and less stressful for the adults around him. One of those things is his picture schedule. It’s a laminated card that has 8 clip art shots of the different activities and stations that JB goes to each night. This calms him enormously when he wants to know when he gets to play outside, eat a snack, or go home. He accepts schedules well and loves them. He has it on a lanyard and he wears it around his neck. It’s pretty cute.
Last night, though, JB was not my handful. JB has a new church best friend in Mr. Mark. Mr. Mark is a sweet, quiet guy whose sons were toddlers many years ago. He’s one of the teachers in JB’s class of TWENTY FOUR 4’s and 5’s. That is a lot of Pre-K and K kids, right? I’d die if I were in that class. Just die. That is not my forte AT ALL. But Mr. Mark has taken JB under his wing. I deeply appreciate this kind-hearted guy taking my little man and helping him enjoy VBS. I’ve observed Mr. Mark holding JB in his lap, his head bent over JB’s in prayer, holding his hand as the group walks around in line, helping JB remember not to run around and try to climb onto the platform during Bible story time, and even wearing the schedule around his own neck and helping JB remember that he will get to say hi to me in the Snack Room.
Mr. Mark may not have anticipated being JB’s special friend during VBS when he signed up to help, but he has been a wonderful asset this week. I had hoped and prayed that this would be the year JB finally got into VBS and enjoyed it and caught the excitement that I have seen in other kids. It has come to pass! Every night my dad drives the kids and I home from the church because JB Sr. has our car at work and I’ve seen my dad grinning as he listens to JB in the backseat chattering happily and in a great mood. Mr. Mark may not have the biggest or most glamorous job at VBS 2011, but for our family, it’s the most important and we appreciate him completely!
Your grateful protegé,