The theme is some sort of "ranch" thing, and he has decided that it is "Cowboy School." Okay. Cowboy School it is!
We got there right when it started on the first night so most of the kids were already in the sanctuary. I hadn't previously signed him up so I had to take Miss G to the table and get him all checked in. I took him into the sanctuary to help him find a seat and expected that to be problematic since none of his friends from school were in there. He just found a spot by himself -- in a pew with other kids but not necessarily near them -- and hung out. They started to sing some songs and I watched as he just sat back and chilled out, taking it all in.
After I got him signed up, I went to tell him goodbye. All he said was "Mommy, I don't know this song." I said "Well, I bet if you listen you'll know it tomorrow when they sing it again." He said "Okay. Are you leaving now?" I said "Yes, we'll be back to pick you up later." He said "Okay. See you soon!"
Astounding. And pride swelling. And semi-heartbreaking. All at the same time.
Why is that I simultaneously want him to be so grown up and such a little guy at once? Bittersweet would be a good word here.
Anyway - it is so fun when he surprises me. I go to pick him up and not only is he now with the crowd, he has a huge orange bandana with his name on it around his neck and he is dancing around and singing at the top of his lungs. Usually in situations like these, he'll sit quietly and clap his hands but be too shy to sing, even though he's wild man at home when music is on. I loved seeing him confident enough to get in there and express himself in front of others like he does at home.
Then I got even another surprise. The pastor asked the group if anyone remembered any of the special stories they heard at VBS that night. Big pause. No hands. Until...my "shy" little guy jumps (literally) to his feet, waves both hands around and shouts "Oh, I know! I know!" I couldn't believe it, but what he said next was a really cool thing for me to hear him say.
"We heard stories JUST like the ones that Mommy reads me out of my special Bible story book before bed every night!"
I just about fell over. See - yeah, who wouldn't like their kid to make them sound like Supermom? Nice, right? Well, for me -- THAT day was anything but a Supermom day. More like Grumpymom. In general, it was a day where I didn't feel like a good mom at all. Yet, at the end of the day, there's my little guy jumping to his feet and waving his hands around to remind me (forget everyone else in the room) that I it all balances out and that I do manage to make him feel special in important ways. I'm sure I don't have to say that I got all teary - I'm sure that's a given.
The funny part about VBS though is that when it was over and he came to find Miss G and I towards the back, he greeted us with a "Howdy" and a "Yippee-ka-yay Partners!" It was so funny. When he found out that my hubby was working late, he started to cry and said "But I wanted to tell him Yippee-ka-yay, Partners!" So, after I strapped him into his carseat, I dialed the office and gave him my cell phone. When he greeted my hubby with it, there was a long pause, so it went something like this...
Sounded so funny on the phone. When I got the phone back after they were done chatting, my husband revealed that he had a mini-heart-attack when Mitchell said that. When I asked why he said "All I could think of was that line from Die Hard." I didn't know what he was talking about at first until he reminded me that Bruce Willis says "Yippee-ka-yay, mother...!"
I reminded him that it wouldn't come out that spicy. I believe he has learned "freakin" from good ol' Mom as he was struggling with his carseat buckle the other day and used it appropriately and in context. It is among my non-cussing, yet still apparently cussing words. (I see that as I don't at all like it coming out of my 4 year old's mouth.)
Uh, YEAH. Don't quite have that "perfect mom" thing down yet, do I?