Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I uh, don't know how to tell you this...but I may have VBS, it's pretty contagious.

It's summer vacation here (wait, wasn't it May a minute ago?) right, well, anyway, moving right along... On the last day of school I brought my daughter home in tears. The idea of spending 2 months at home with me instead of at school with her friends and teacher was just too awful for her to bear.

Adam and I have no friends (fine, maybe a couple, but seriously not a lot.) While we like to get out and have grown-up fun once in a while, for the most part we tend to stay home alone, content with each others company and/or a good book. Were it not for the demands of parenting, I think I would probably live all alone and go for days or weeks at a time without any human interaction whatsoever. Adam likes people, but he's too lazy to bother leaving the house unless he has to work. When we are forced into social situations outside of our comfort zones we are inevitably the most awkward couple in the room. I loose the power of speech and sit there fidgeting in a corner until I force myself to say something I think is funny, but it turns out that after a few hours of sullen-looking silence my hysterical commentary comes off as sarcastic and bitchy and completely inappropriate. Adam, on the other hand, can't shut the fuck up to save his life. He starts to babble incessantly and is unable to detect the subtle social cues that would indicate to a normal person that the party to whom he is speaking has no interest whatsoever the the subject matter that he refuses to drop, no matter how many times they might try to politely change the subject. Alcohol helps. A lot. It helps me anyway, actually it just makes Adam talk louder.

All of this would seem to indicate that our anti-social tendencies far outweigh our honest desire to make friends. How is it then, that the two of us combined have created the most outgoing, friendly, social butterfly of a child on earth? Skylar loves people. People are absolutely crucial to her happiness on a day to day basis. She wants friends over every single day, she adores school and organized activities and she just sucks at playing quietly by herself. While all of my school report cards said " needs to participate more in class" Skylar's report cards say "needs to remember to give the other children a chance to speak" The kid thrives on company and structured activities, which, given my aforementioned general suckyness in those departments, I am simply not able to provide her with for 2 long months.

The obvious solution is summer camp. Yay! Summer camp with the friends and the games and the crafts and so on and so forth, whoo hoo! Except I'm still out of a job and summer camp is blindingly expensive, so scratch that idea. If only there was something like camp...but free.

Thus we arrive at my decision to send her to Vacation Bible School. VBS as the cool Christians call it. VBS where children play games and sing songs and make friends and are cheerfully brainwashed by Faith. I'm not an atheist, nor am I vehemently anti-christian, but I really don't have much use for organized religion as a whole. (I'm not a bigot. I think they're all equally bullshit) That being said, I do believe in spirituality and I respect every persons right to believe whatever they like. I just wish more people would put an honest effort into deciding what that is, instead of unquestioningly following their parents religion because it's the only one they know. I want my children to be free to ask questions and be given thoughtful answers. I do not want people telling them that THIS is the only right answer and you'd better get on board with it or you're going to hell. So I was nervous about sending Skylar to a place where she would be on her own with kids who have been going to church all their lives and adults who feel called upon to spread their faith like a VD to anyone they possibly can.

I wish there were more options around here. I wish I could send her to Hebrew school one week and Buddhist camp the next to balance out her theological education, but I really can't. Around here all the churches have different names, but they all preach pretty much the same dogma. Yet another drawback to small town life.

But it's free!

So I sent her off to VBS to learn about "Joseph's Journey to Egypt" Which, hey! I saw the musical! Donny Osmond kicked ass! How bad could it be? And she loved it. And apparently she had no problem with being the only kid there whose knowledge of the Bible was less than sub-par. And she came home every day singing about being a Child of God (That part bothered me a bit but damn those songs were catchy!)

The last day arrived and we all got ready to attend the show/presentation/sneak attack church service that night. The kids were adorable in their Egyptian make-up and the brainwashing songs were upbeat. Then there was a prayer. All through the hall people bowed their heads and fell silent as Adam showed Eden how to close her eyes and fold her hands. She looked around at all the quiet adults with their eyes shut, grabbed the hand of the little girl sitting beside her and yelled "Come on! It's our turn to hide!"

We're going to hell.


P.S. Yes, Adam and Eden. Ha ha ha. Irony.


I hope life can only get better said...

Loved this post. I agree with your take on religion totaly and know how it is to want to spend days on end in my house with a book, and my boys always want friends over. Like your blog!

Irene said...

wonderfully written and hysterical! P.S. I love that in your "about me" section you mentioned something about days where you want to sell your children to gypsies! lol, glad I'm not the only one who feels like that sometimes!

Kim Hosey said...

An interesting perspective on VBS, to be sure. (I spent a few years in that faith; now as an agnostic it seems as bizarre and brainwashy to me as you describe it). Also, love her comment at the end! Kids rock.

Kim Hosey said...

By "that faith," I more or less mean fundamentalist nondenominational Christian. I'm sure there are divisions within the group.

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haha, irony indeed. it's very impredicteble!