I love Tuesdays. Tuesday is my favorite day of the week. Every Tuesday I drop Avery off at Awana, called Cubbies for preschoolers, from 9:30 to 11am. It’s just long enough for Charlie and me to run a few quick errands with little stress then go to the library to play together. He doesn’t get nearly enough one-on-one play time.
But what I love most is the opportunity it provides for me to talk with my daughter about God, learn verses together and get ideas on how to connect spiritually throughout the week. In addition, my daughter learns independence. And she plays with kids we don’t normally see and gets to do activities we don’t often do at home. She always says, “I had fun!” and is excited afterward. And it’s not like she’s attached to my hip, but Avery is not comfortable around people she doesn’t know–not that that’s a totally bad thing! But, this was a good environment to stretch her social skills.
If you are not familiar with Awana, it’s a children’s ministry that helps local churches reach children with the gospel and train them to know, love and serve Jesus Christ. They do crafts, sing songs, play games and learn. It is organized so well. I love how Avery is engaged as soon as we arrive. She has to put her book in her group’s colored bin (blue), then they give her a sticker to place on the oversized attendance chart by her name. By the time we get to the room where the craft is set up, which Avery loves, she has completely forgotten about me. Over the past four weeks, she evolved to this from a whiney “Hold you!” The first week, she was a little worried even as we were in the car before we arrived. She asked if I was going to be with her, then she wondered if Charlie could stay with her to play. “But, no, babies aren’t allowed! It’s for big kids only.” I said. That seemed to help.
You can find churches in your area that have Awana at www.awana.org. They are open to the community, so you don’t have to be a member or even attend a church (although sometimes there is limited space available). The programs range in age from 2 to 12, depending on the church. I take Avery to Fox Valley, which is not my church, because Springbrook offers Awana for K-5th grade on Wednesday nights, great for school-aged kids. I, for one, love the break during the day, and so does she.