Westminster and Me

When Craig taught at a small classical Christian school two years ago, I fell in love with it. I totally saw us sending the girls there in the future and being all involved and everything – seemed like a great fit. The only problem with it was that because it was so small, they didn’t need Craig to teach more than one section of Bible to their students. One section of Bible does not feed a family of six.

Enter Westminster. I will admit to being skeptical of Westminster at first because it fit my preconceived notion of the typical large Christian school, a la the movie Saved. I went through the public school system, and all my experience with kids in Christian schools was less than positive (they also fit the bill for the movie Saved). I wasn’t that excited about the idea of my kids being the kids in the movie Saved. You see how this affects my perception here.

Last summer, when Craig needed to go to Chicago for teacher training, he asked if he could convert his plane ticket into train tickets (which we’ll just leave Amtrak out of this otherwise glowing report for now) and share his hotel room with the rest of us. Westminster agreed in a heartbeat, allowing all of us to travel for essentially the price of one. This did not go unnoticed by me.

This year has admittedly been a bit difficult for me in that, for pretty much the first time in our adult/married lives, I’ve not been really closely tied to Craig’s job/responsibilities. I wasn’t considered to be technically on staff with The Navigators all that time, but I was: I knew all the people, lived at all the places, and was part of that team.

Seminary was similar because we lived on campus the first 18 months and I also took classes. I was involved and knew what was going on.

Westminster ushered us into a completely new stage of life, the stage where Craig has a “real job,” with a dependable paycheck, and where I can’t just pop in whenever I feel like it to say, “Hey!” I don’t know many people there and haven’t really felt like part of that team.

When the opportunity for Craig to attend the Summer Seminar came up, I really wanted him to be able to go to connect better with more staff and some students. I wanted him to really begin feeling like he was part of the school. The fact that the girls’ summer camps (the good ones), lined up with these same two weeks Craig is gone was just accidental. Or was it?

The woman in charge of the camps has really done a fantastic job. But not only that, she’s gone out of her way to just include me in her conversation, ask about our time with Craig gone, etc. I’m beginning to feel a little bit a part of what’s going on there. And the girls? They now think they own the school, so this is no longer an issue for them.

At the end of last week we got an envelope in the mail addressed to “The Craig Dunham Ladies.” Inside were gift cards for Papa John’s and Dairy Queen with a note saying, “Thanks for sharing Craig. While he’s away, enjoy some fun on us. – WCA”

I am beginning to believe they really do care about us as a whole family.

How to Ensure a Parent Will Never Enroll Her Child in Your Day Camp Ever Ever Again

On day one, make sure the four-year-old falls off the playground equipment. Be sure it leaves a nasty red mark on her side and a very painful blister on her hand between her thumb and first finger. When her mom picks her up, don’t bother to mention what happened. When the parent notices anyway and asks, be evasive. Instead tell the parent how shy the child was and how she didn’t interact with anyone else in the group.

On day two, discipline the entire group for the misbehavior of a small handful. Don’t bother to mention it to the parents, but wait for the child to tell the mother that she doesn’t get a treat the next day because they were all bad. When the parent comes over to ask you about it, be clear in saying that, no, her child wasn’t bad, in fact she was very very good, but that yes, the rest of the group was very very bad so everybody loses the gym play time the next day.

Okay, I know I’m being a bit harsh. But to say I’m not that impressed with the local community center’s day camp for preschoolers would be an understatement.

On the other hand, the day camps being done by Westminster have been fantastic. Chloe and Katie went last week and I was really impressed with their program. The girls loved it too. Maddie is going this week and is having a blast. Kudos to WCA for exceeding both my expectations and the local community center’s camp.