Saturday, March 27, 2010

the things we do for our kids

Today was a prime example. We LOVE AWANA. Our kids have been involved for I think 4 years now. Mike and I have been leaders for as long. One thing the kids really enjoy are the games. Now, I like game time, as does every other AWANA leader. Once a year, local AWANA's gather together and compete against each other in these unique games developed for and by AWANA.

This is where the "because I love you" comes in. A few weeks ago I paid $5 to sit on hard benches, fuss at S &A and cheer K & J and their fellow T&Ters on to victory. This means sitting for about 2 hours to get every team "checked in" and another two hours watching the kids play these games that only have meaning to the one's participating. J's team won the right to move on to the "state" competition which was held today in Richmond.

Soooo we had to leave our house by 7:30, which means I had to be up at 6:30, well 6:45, in order to be ready to leave on time. Because we have a 1 1/2 hour drive to unfamiliar territory for 10:00 check in. We arrived at 9:45. At 12, the games hadn't started, instead we'd watched the older kids get awards for their bible quiz and got our obligatory preaching. I know that AWANA is to teach the boy's and girl's about the salvation offered by Jesus, but I don't know why they think that a 30 minute sermon is necessary before the games. Um, you've got over 100 kids sitting on a gym floor waiting to run in circles, and all of the assorted people that were ,drug came to support them. A short 5 minute object lesson would be appropriate, not a 30 minute sermon. Ugh.

Finally, the games began, and the kids played hard and earned second place for their "circle". But, they were the highest scoring second place team. This qualified them for the final championship round. Yeah, we get to stay for another round! "To begin immediately." 30 minutes later, much to our dismay excitement, these kids, who hadn't eaten since we arrived, began another round. (it's about 2:00 now)

It was hard for our kids to see the victory in their 4th place out of 4 teams (they didn't place in a single game this time) except for my J who is always the sportsman and said "I got a gold medal last week". But, when they heard the "games" started with 40 teams they bucked up. Now, I've got to give my baby a shout out now. For a 5 year old, A did amazingly well. I'm still in shock that he wasn't having total meltdowns and kicking everyone around us (did I mention it was REALLY crowded). But, in the end...just like so many things we do for our kids ONLY because they are ours and it's important to them, the day was worth it because our J had a great time. We did spend a little time exploring around Richmond after and discovered a cool outdoorsy store called Gander Mountain that we like better than Bass Pro (they gave us a $10 off coupon for that comment) and the boy's even made it home to fish a little.


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