Friday, July 14, 2006


Tonight we ate at Fellini's on our way to the big VBS finale.

For those of you not from the South, or who for some other reason have never had kids in Vacation Bible School, the last night is a big closing number for the week. VBS usually has a theme, and the finale has a brief sketch to tie up the loose ends of whatever story arc was being used for that week, usually done by teenagers.

It's short, because lots of kids are in the audience, and the teenagers are more nervous than usual, because there are also adults in the audience for the first time. Then all of the kids get up and sing their songs. And I swear, it's just like the the end of The Music Man. Objectively, it must sound horrible. But there's over a hundred adults in the room, and half again as many kids, and not a single one of them is objective. We all love it.

Timothy hammed it up with his friends; he knows the words and motions but doesn't care, because he's ON STAGE, WITH HIS FRIENDS! Heaven help us all.

Stephen put in an earnest and excellent performance, singing every word, doing every hand motion. (He has more than made up for the 4-year old Kindergarten Christmas Concert where he spent the entire time with his hands over his ears, scowling at the audience during the song and then at his classmates during the frequent applause.)

Jonah was Jonah. Every face was a Silly Face, every remembered word was shouted or shrieked (thankfully, these were few). LIke a stopped clock, he would, during his gyrations, hit upon the same hand motions as everyone else. Imagine an early 80's Robin Williams routine where, instead of jokes, he spent 15 frantic minutes singing gospel versions of Harry Belafonte tunes. I laughed out loud for 5 straight songs.

Sam sat in my wife's lap and would sing the occassional line, which he had learned from his brothers. The lines Sam sang coincided nicely with the ones Jonah yelled.

Then we all went upstairs and ate ice cream. In one big room. Tthe kids ran around and screamed, while parents, grandparents, and neighbors stood or sat in little groups and yelled, "What? Say that again, please," at one another. Families filed out as kids fell down, fell asleep, threw up, or whenever parents or grandparents alike decided they've had enough. Collecting the children was hard, though, because all 400 of them were wearing the exact same shirt.

Anyway, that's a VBS finale. Chaos. With songs and sugar.

But on the way to the VBS finale, we had dinner at Fellini's. The boys must have been under an air vent, because they complained of being cold and tucked their arms and legs up into their shirts. Then the food came, and everyone forgot about being cold.

Except for Jonah. Halfway through dinner, my wife noticed a large shiny spot on his leg. She's a bright one, my wife, and she asked, "Did you put your pizza on your leg?"

To which Jonah replied, "But it warmed my leg up."


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