“To be in your children’s memories tomorrow, you have to be in their lives today.”
— Author unknown
One of my dearest friends and colleagues, Elaine Johnson, Worship Coordinator, is also affectionately known as “Mama J” to the Youth Department. Over the years, she has been a kind and loving presence to countless kids and a rock-solid volunteer for the Youth Staff. Last Saturday, she went to Glenn Lake to help with Revolution Weekend — which, in the interest of safety, was a day-long event this year. I know it was bittersweet for Elaine because her son, Michael, is a Senior and so her time as a parent in the Youth Department is drawing to a close.
Elaine and I have had lots of talks lately about kids growing up, “leaving the nest” and how glad we are we volunteered for all the things parents are asked to volunteer for. All of those things were opportunities to have a front-row seat into the lives of our children and their friends and I can honestly say those memories are as special to my children as they are to me.
When they were in middle and high school, my girls would groan and roll their eyes when they found out that yes, my husband I had volunteered to chaperone a dance or activity. Oh, the horror! Their friends and classmates might actually have to interact with us! The funny thing is, at age twenty-six and twenty-nine, they’re actually glad we were there and thank us all the time for being “those parents.”
So, if you’re the parent of a teen, I hope you will take it from me and Mama J — volunteer to chaperone the dance, or the Mission Trip, or Revolution Weekend, or Youth Activities on Sunday, or whatever activity you’re asked to help with. I hope you will see those precious opportunities to chaperone as the chance to create your own memories that I promise will one day bring a smile to your face, warmth to your heart, and a big thank you (from your grown kids) for being there when they needed you to be there.
See you Sunday!
Director of Welcoming Ministries