November 04, 2010

Walking to School

Most mornings, I walk my sons to school.  It's slightly more than a half mile, which gives us time to talk.  Indeed, it's about the only time we have real conversations, since they easily find other distractions at home.  In fact, at home I often find other distractions as well.

I look forward to these walks.  In the afternoon, I can ask (as I often do), "How was your day?"  I consider myself lucky to get a one-word answer.

But in the mornings, walking that half mile...

Here's a snippet of yesterday's conversation.

Ethan: "School doesn't teach anything important."
Me:  "Really?"
Ethan: "I learn more from TV shows than I do from school."
Me:  "What do you learn from TV?"
Ethan: "At school they only teach you meaningless stuff like 2+2, or what year was Jonathan Edwards born..."
Me:  "You're learning about Jonathan Edwards at school?"
Ethan:  "... but every TV show has a moral that helps you be a better person."
Tristan:  "Except Mad TV."
Ethan:  "Well, every TV show with a plot."
Tristan:  "Part of Mad TV has a plot that's about five minutes long..."
Me: "So, you're learning about Jonathan Edwards at school?"
Ethan:  "Yeah.  And the Great Awakening."
Me:  "Don't you think learning about the life of someone like Jonathan Edwards could help you learn how to be a better person?"
Ethan:  "I don't know."  (At this point we are almost at school)  "Well, I got my physical education for the day.  Can you write me a note so I don't have to do P.E.?"
Me:  "No.  It never hurts to have extra P.E.  Especially when a large percentage of your diet consists of Halloween candy."
Ethan:  "But I already walked, I got my physical education.  Besides, I hate football."
Me:  "You're doing football?"
Ethan:  "Yeah.  Flag football."
Me:  "I'm sorry.  I hated playing football when I was in school.  It was almost as bad as having to climb the rope.  Does your teacher tell you how to play, what the positions are?"
Ethan:  "No, he just tells us to go play, and to ask our teammates to explain it to us.  But no one really knows how to play, so we just run around trying to grab each other's flags...."

It's pretty much only when we're walking that we have conversations like this.  At this point our conversation for the morning was over.  As I watch him enter the school grounds, I think to myself that, at least when it comes to physical education, he has a point.

That's it for today's post.  Time for me to dust off that book on American Christianity, and re-read the chapter on the Great Awakening....

1 comment:

Edgar said...

I really enjoyed this post. I like the way you bring something good out of every situation and you are willing to share your experiences.