In the movie "City Slickers" Billy Crystal's character starts to talk about the death of the trail boss, Curly and his friend announces "Stop the clock." checks his watch and notes how long it took him to comment on the subject. It seems Crystal's character, Mitch is so obsessed with death that his friends can conduct a pool to see how quickly he will talk about it.
Our family has a way of adapting movie lines in to our every day activities. We use this above referenced line when it comes to crying, particularly mine. I am the family crier. I am an emotional guy. I cry at movies all the time. I cry when I listen to the radio. I cry while I am reading books to the family. I will sometimes even read the books ahead to avoid crying, and I'll cry any way.
I am a pretty astute t.v and movie watcher. This goes for books as well. I can usually figure out the unwinding of even the best constructed plots long before that unwinding takes place. The ability to travel well ahead of the pace of the plot and even make fun of the poorer contrived ones does not curb my propensity to bawl when the conclusion is presented. When I ultimately do succumb, myself or another family member will utter, "stop the clock."
Sending our 2 youngest to public school this year has been an emotionally verklempt time for Amy and me. Even though we sense God's hand in the decision and hope this is just a 1 year detour off their home schooling path, (Spider Droid refers to his middle school teachers as substitutes.) it still sometimes feels more like a trial than a blessing. For the most part I had been able to get through their having a commute farther from their bedroom to the dining room table without tearing up. I was, that is until the 2nd day of school.
On the 2nd day of school I walked Wolfina to her school, which is about 3 minutes walk from our house. We were running a little late so her class was already walking into the building when we got there. I put her in the line, and her teacher (who had been Bunny Girl's kindergarten teacher 9 years ago, the last time any of our kids attended public school) went up to me, took me aside, and said, beaming with pride, "you have raised a wonderful daughter."
I said thank you to the teacher, and goodbye to W and started walking home. But it was time to stop the clock. I cried so much, I could have swum back to the house. I was an emotional wreck, but in a good way.In that moment, I knew that time we spent home educating our kids had made an impact. She had spent 1 day with our daughter and was commenting on the difference we had made. We will continue to try and make that difference every day with all of our kids, and that is one of the things that motivates me to make it possible to get Amy back home next year, to continue to build character into our kids.
Next Time: My 2nd job