Vacation Bible school received the thumbs down in 2008.

For reasons we don’t fully understand, Simone wanted no part of it. Tears rolled down her cheeks during class, and we received more than one report of bad behavior. One day she kicked off her shoes in frustration and was sent to time out.

I admit I worry more than I should and had thoughts of years of bad behavior that somehow were linked to vacation Bible school. Well, she never really took to the Bible, I could hear myself explaining. That should have been our first clue.

This year, I braced myself for similar outbursts, but they never came. Simone looked forward to Crocodile Dock, the theme for this year’s program. She told us about the burning bush and God’s light, and I exhaled when she told me she had fun.

The other surprise: The message hadn’t changed since I had gone to school, but the delivery sure had. Simone wore a T-shirt and a name tag and brought home something new every day. She showed off little plastic trinkets called Bible buddies and even stuffed a turtle called a Comfy Critter so that she could give it to any child in need of a lift.

Thank goodness, vacation Bible school is behind us, but that only means something else will challenge us in the near future.