Behold! One of the least flattering pictures I've ever taken:
This particular shot was taken on July 19th, 2008. (And yes, I am cheap and do not have a scanner, so I took a picture of a picture. Could you tell?)
Joel was born ten days later, on July 29th, 2008.
Let's grossly understate and say that I was a little uncomfortable. And by "little" I mean, I waddled, used the bathroom every three minutes, and ceased to care about social mores, such as "Try not to fart in public" or "Avoid talking about your water breaking with strangers."
This picture was taken at Vacation Bible School. I dragged my 170 pound body to the church each evening for games, snacks, stories, crafts, and music with Owen. With the exception of Joel's birth days later, it was the highlight of my summer.
Most churches do not have VBS for toddlers. I can understand why. It's a bit mad. But, I am grateful that my church embraces the madness, and lets the toddler hordes in. If nothing else, it's biblical: "Let the little children come to me," and all that.
It's also an act of grace. The adults are saying: "Yes, we know that you cry and have the attention span of lint. You may be unable to pull up your pants, and the adults often do your crafts for you. But you're welcome. Pull up a seat. We're waiting." I love that.
Thus, we're back again this summer. It's during the day this year, so Joel is staying with a friend of mine, and I am taking her son to VBS with Owen. I love the reciprocal thing, and I think she's liking the deal too. Plus, I get to imagine what life would be like with twin boys.
It's going well, although Owen has an irrational hatred for the music section, where the kids dance and play with instruments. He'll sit on a chair, scowling. "I don't dance, Mommy," he'll grump.
Boy, is that boy ever German.
Although he chooses not to dance, he'll happily roll down the big hill, carry a box Ark of the Covenant across the "River Jordan," eat English muffin pizza, and drink lots and lots of water.
He proudly told a teenage helper that he has "strong thumbs," as evidenced by his repeated use of the cooler spout. A mother can only dream that he will use these skills to tap kegs or maybe work in other areas of the beverage industry.
What is my goal in putting Owen in VBS? Do I expect Owen to spout theology or have answers to life's deep questions? Of course not. What I hope for, and pray for, is that Owen sees church as a fun place, where many, many people care about him.
I think I've met my goal: