Last night was the AWANA Awards ceremony for my 4 year old. He was asked to memorize a verse to speak during the ceremony. Throughout last week, we worked on it with him and made sure to practice standing nicely while speaking the verse clearly — not singing it, using a silly voice, or screaming it. When the time finally came, we waited with anticipation to see what Ryan would do. He was sitting, facing a puppet show that they were using to facilitate this particular portion of the ceremony, so when his name was called, he stood up, faced the congregation, and spoke right into the microphone. “Love the Lord thy God WITH ALL THY HEART! MARK 12:30!!!” He began with a nice normal voice, then got louder and louder with each word, so that by the end, we were covering our ears as he yelled into the microphone! I was proud of him for doing well, but wanted to sink into the floor from embarrassment, too!
Also during the ceremony, Ryan felt compelled to tell his leaders that we have a microphone at home — just one. And it’s Alex’s. I don’t remember what else he said, but his voice is so loud that everything carried across the sanctuary and his leaders had to keep responding, then shushing him. Sometimes, all you can do is laugh!!!
Ryan’s AWANA group is called Cubbies and there is a bear for the mascot. They had one of the teenage helpers walking around in the Cubby suit. Alex, 2 years old, kept following Cubby Bear around and trying to talk to him, but Cubby could neither see nor hear Alex. Since he seemed so set on talking to Cubby, I asked Alex if he wanted to give him a hug. I really expected him to be afraid and say no, but he didn’t! He nodded his head very decisively and said, “Yes. Hug Cubby.” So I picked him up and called Cubby over. Cubby reached out an arm and Alex started pulling away, crying, kicking, and clawing me. So I told him to just give Cubby five. Alex was happy with that. Then, Cubby went into a building to change. Alex wandered away for the time, but a few minutes later went into that building. I stopped him and asked what he was doing. “Get out here!” he said.
I was pretty befuddled with that, so I asked again. He replied, “Cubby, get out here!”
“Oh! You want Cubby to come back out here? Well, I think Cubby went night-night.”
I kid you not. As soon as I said that, the teenager who had been Cubby walked up the hall with the Cubby head upside down in his hand!!! Remember, Alex is two. He thinks Cubby is real. The poor kid was TERRIFIED!!! He started stomping, screaming, crying, and trying to run away. I snatched him up, hugged him and explained that it was just a costume like his pirate costume. He settled down a little, but kept his eyes locked onto that Cubby head until it was gone!
So, I thought the drama would be over at this point, but poor Alex was still on edge. (He had just lived through a toddler’s horror movie!) It was a rather windy night. While we were waiting to go, we were standing by the table that held the snacks. The table was nearly empty, but still held empty plates, wrappers, etc. A sudden, strong gust of wind filled the breezeway sending plates, tins, cups, cookies, and more flying off the table and caused quite the rucous. I was still holding Alex from the Cubby incident and this just about sent him over the edge. Like a cat, he started clawing and climbing his way up to my head!
Whew! What an evening that was! I was exhausted by the time we walked across the church to the van and I certainly feel badly for Alex, but every time I remember it, I have to laugh!