Wednesday, August 02, 2006


Yesterday afternoon, C got a call from a Kinder classmate inviting her to come to the VBS at her church that evening.

VBS = Vacation Bible School

Out here, VBS also equals big business for the local churches. Kind of like Pledge Drive Week at PBS.

Anyhow, C showed interest in going, so I fixed an early dinner for the girls, and rushed out of the house to drop her off at 6 p.m. I got her registered, she found her classmate that had invited her, and all seemed well.

Until I saw that all the little kids in her group were carrying $1 bills in their hands.

I asked why.

To put in the collection plate, I was told.

Apparently, it was Boys vs. Girls to see who could collect the most money. The winner gets to hit one of the First Action Heroes in the face with a creme pie.

Fair enough. But I hadn't brought along my money clip. I'll be back.

10 block drive home. Get some dough. Get back. PK fell asleep in the car. Collect her in my arms, rush back inside. Make the cash handoff to C. All is well.

FF three hours later and we pick C up. She's obviously stressed out about something. Not your happy, bounding about 6-year old. Perhaps she's just tired, being an hour past her normal bedtime. We get her home, bathed, and ready for bed.

Time to cuddle over some books and discuss the day.

"What'd you learn at VBS tonight? Did you have a good time?"

"Well, not really."

Here is comes.

The classmate who had invited her to attend that evening, ditched her and didn't pay any attention to her all night. Nice.

The girls were way behind the boys in payola so Joseph, the First Action Hero of the night, "encouraged" the girls to step up their efforts. Hmm.

Finally, C was shaky with anxiety and felt like she had to stay up to think about who to bring to VBS tomorrow, since they were told that each person HAD to bring someone new the following night.

My daughter takes things like this pretty seriously and was so keyed up about it she was near tears just thinking about it.

So, whatever spiritual lessons or value she may have derived from the evenings festivities, were superceded by three somewhat negative factors.One, the fact that her friend only invited her to fulfill her "requirement" to bring someone to VBS, since once she got C there, she showed no interest in being with her.

Two, it all seems to be about the Benjamin's, and getting the kids to cough up more moolah.

Three, raising the stress level in innocent 1st graders by pressuring them to recruit others.

I understand the need and desire for any organization to recruit. I understand the need and desire for any entity to profit. I understand the misguided innocence of a 6-year old to mislead a so-called friend in an effort to please their elders.

I understand all this and more.

But my 6-year old doesn't, and frankly, doesn't need to at this stage in her life.

Tomorrow, we're going to the new Oklahoma History Center, then having a fun, family dinner with my wife downtown when she gets off work.

First Action Hero Joshua will just have to wait.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sad, but very true. Sorry to read C's experience. I know she will not be scared for life, but it hurts and all that matters that C knows she has a loving and caring family.