Saturday, January 27, 2007

100 hits

Wow. The ol' blog has reached 100 hits. That's cool. Who's reading anyway? And why? 100 hits and only a few comments (from one visitor. Hi Hannah! Are you visiting my blog a dozen times a day and driving my hit counter up?). Uhm. Not that I'm complaining. I'm really quite pleased that someone (anyone) is reading this at all. All those hits could, in fact, be from just my husband (Hi JC! How's it going over there, across the living room?).

I haven't updated much of late. We were visiting my mom last week, and so we didn't teach Sunday school then. Because of that, there hasn't been much to write. On Wednesday evening, I saw Ginny, who teaches them on Wednesdays and also subbed for us on Sunday. "You guys sure have your hands full on Sunday mornings, don't you?" she said. She was dead serious. I laughed, and told her that, yes, they could be a handful, but they're good kids, and we have fun. She just shook her head. Her comment made me wonder what the difference between Sunday morning and Wednesday evening is, exactly. JC suggested that the kids are tired from school on Wednesdays, and lack the energy to act crazy. That might be the case, but I think a different set of kids shows up on Wednesdays--a smaller group, and the ones whose parents think church is worth showing up on Wednesday nights.

An update on the long list of ideas I posted a few days ago: I mentioned the rally idea to JC. He asked me if I was out of my mind. "Can you imagine our class...times fifty...for the whole day?" I argued that no events for kids that age exist. He replied that there was probably a good reason for that. Hm. Good point. Also, the idea of doing a blog for them--probably not going to happen. I talked to one of the moms about it, and she said that her family doesn't have a computer at home. I don't want one kid to feel left out.

That book I've been talking about, The Last Christian Generation, finally came from Amazon. I'm going to start it tonight, and I'll post some thoughts about it when I get a chance. It's kind of funny, starting a blog with a title that responds to a book I haven't read yet...but, as most of my friends, relatives, and cohorts will tell you, that's the kind of thing I do.

One funny thing--parents just crack me up. I'm not a parent yet, so maybe I'll understand this when I have kids, but they freak out over their kids so much. No wonder kids are all a bit neurotic. Example: My friend Amy has two daughters. The older one just turned three, and for about eight months, she's insisted on wearing pink rubber boots a lot. She doesn't wear them all the time, but she wears them alot, and often with outfits that don't match the boots. She's not one of those kids who insists on wearing only the pink boots, but she definitely likes them. Around Christmas, she came to church in a red plaid dress, red stockings and...the boots! She actually got new ones for Christmas--I guess she was outgrowing the others. I told her (the daughter) that I liked those boots. When Amy overheard me, she started making excuses--the little girl had spent the night at a friend's house and they had forgotten to pack alternate footwear, etc. I'm an adult, and I'm not the kid's mother, so I know--as does everyone else on the planet--that three-year-olds just do that. They are experimenting with their style, and most of them will figure out what is an appropriate way to dress by the time they are six. They'll promptly forget it at sixteen, but that is neither here nor there. I don't think it reflects badly on Amy's parenting or on her daughter. I think it's cute. The kicker is, Amy thinks it's cute when other people's kids do that.

A few weeks ago, I was working in the nursery. The other woman who was in there with me has a son who is about a year and a half old, and he was in there too. Of all the kids in the nursery, he was the only one who got put in time out--though the other kids weren't being perfect angels. That might have something to do with one's discomfort in disciplining other people's children, I guess. Still.

And where this ties in to Sunday school is with Josh. More specifically, it's with Josh's mother. We've decided that we're going to do the class on bad language--what is or isn't ok to say, and, more importantly, why--but we feel like we should talk with all the parents first. So I started with Josh's mom. I like her, and anyway, Josh was not the problem in our class two weeks ago. I started by telling her, "You'll probably think this is funny..."
Her immediate response: "I bet I won't."
So I started telling her about this session we had, where the kids were laughing about bad words and how we felt we needed to do a class on how what comes out of our mouths is important. I really think she didn't hear half of what I said. She just kept saying, "Josh wasn't doing that, was he? Josh wasn't laughing at that, right?" I kept assuring her that no, Josh was fine. If anything, he was better than usual (and he's always good), because he was trying to ignore the other kids and work on his map. We just need to make sure she was ok with him having a class on this, because the other kids needed it, and Josh would be there. She just couldn't get away from the idea that we might think that she wasn't a good parent, or that Josh wasn't a good kid.

The same thing happens with us as teachers--we're always a little afraid how our message will get garbled when the parents ask what we talked about in Sunday school. I guess I can understand this anxiety in parents. It makes them awfully hard to talk to, though!! Even if I intend to praise their kids, the parents hardly seem able to believe it. Maybe they're used to teachers using that old tactic of starting with a positive comment, to soften the blow of a negative one. Every parent we've talked to has offered to discipline her child for his behavior in class--even when that is definitely not what we want to talk to the parent about. "If Josh was laughing about that stuff, I need to know, because he'll be in trouble," his mother said.
"No," I insisted. "Josh was fine. Seriously. He was really good. He just rolled his eyes and ignored them."
"Well, that sounds like him," she said, but I don't think she was convinced.

I'm a bit concerned about what I'm going to say to the parents whose kids were instigating that rather annoying

Tomorrow: Ruth. That will be good--the girls like stories about women, and there are rather few in the Bible over all. Ruth is an odd story, though. Why doesn't anyone ever question the bit about her curling up at Boaz's feet in his bed? It sounds like the kind of thing a lot of people in the church might find questionable.

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