I have the honor of being the Activity Days leader for the 10 year old girls in our congregation. This means that twice a month, I invite six 10 year olds into my house for some sort of spiritual guidance, and an activity.
This week, the activity started out OK. We watched a church produced movie, and then I had the girls sit for 10 minutes and write what they thought or felt about the movie in an “Activity Day” journal that I gave them for Christmas.
Now let me explain, I’m super good with 3 year olds, I am even pretty decent with 6 year olds because that is as far as my child development experience takes me with nieces and nephews. Any older, and I am totally awkward and out of my league. I don’t really know what 10 year olds can handle and what they can’t. Journal writing is one of them… one of the things they can’t handle, not with a pan of rice crispy treats coursing through their veins.
By the time we were sitting around the kitchen table to assemble folders, the conversation had left off with anything holy, and we were now commanded to go around the table and “admit” who we liked. I had express instructions that I could not name my husband.
One little girl, K, had been insisting repeatedly that her last name would someday be “Potter”, no wait, make that “Radcliffe.” She practiced it on her paper a few times.
The declarations of love grew more and more impassioned until all were talking at once and pandemonium ensued. Little K raised her arms calling for attention shouting, “Wait! Stop! I have something to say! Stop!” Immediately, 5 girls stopped shouting and looked at her silently, expectantly…
Shocked that everyone actually listened to her, she blushed deeply, looked down and said in a demure voice, “I love Harry Potter… OK NOW IT”S YOUR TURN!!!”
I named Legolas, the elf, and admitted that I had a framed poster of him upstairs (compliments of my husband – Christmas 2003).
After I was sure they would not be able to recall ONE churchy thing we had discussed earlier, I suggested we all get our coats and I would drive them home.
We have just installed a new “dog proof” gate leading into our kitchen so that the dogs will be prevented from eating any more loaves of bread or batches of cookies. It is a “fancy” gate with a foot latch. The finale of the night consisted of the girls lining up so that each one could depress the pedal, walk through the gate, and close it behind her so the next girl could go through and push the pedal herself. Simple pleasures my friends…