“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” Martin Luther King Jr.
“I have a hat. It is graceful and feminine and has a wide brim with a red ribbon around the band. It gives me a certain dignity, as if I were attending a state funeral or something. People are generous in their compliments. Someday I may get up enough courage to wear it, instead of carrying it.” Erma Bombeck
I had long admired hats before I finally gathered up my courage and bought (and eventually wore) one about five years ago. I’ve added a few others since then, and I love the extra style they give to an outfit!
“Hats are a thing that are really stylish, but you have to have the confidence to pull it off.” Amy Heckerling
I’m a few days late, but that’s just how it goes the first week back after an extended break!
It was definitely challenging getting back into a routine, but we did our best. We talked about the order of the Divine Service, as well as the organization of the church year in Lutheranism 101. For the most part, this was review, because I’ve always made a big deal out of both the liturgy and the liturgical calendar, however, the few new things that popped up were really new…as in, even new to the teacher! We also had the opportunity to attend the Divine Service on the commemoration day for the Cappadocian Fathers, and even heard a sermon originally written by Gregory of Nanzianzus on the subject of Jesus’ Baptism!
In math, Turkey and Bunny continued to factor, factor, factor. Now that they’ve learned how to factor all kinds of particular polynomials, they put what they learned to use in simplifying rational expressions. I actually heard Bunny say that was kind of fun! Ladybug has continued to work on division…and having a few weeks off didn’t encourage her to like it any better!
Grammar is getting pretty intense for Ladybug, as well. The sentences she is diagramming are getting progressively longer and more complicated, and yet she breezes through them for the most part. Turkey and Bunny wrote an essay about William the Conqueror and the Battle of Hastings for their writing assignment this week, which also sparked an interesting discussion in which we tried (I think successfully!) to untangle the familial relationships of Edward the Confessor, Harold II, and William the Conqueror. I love when history conversations come up outside of our actual history lessons!
Speaking of history, this week, we learned about the Oregon Trail. There wasn’t much new here, in part due to the fact that all of the children (even little Chickadee!) enjoy playing Oregon Trail on the iPad. I think they were surprised at how honest that game can be about the travel experience! We also talked about the forced relocation of the Native Americans, and some of the battles that were fought by men like Sitting Bull and Geronimo.
Everyone started a new chapter of science this week. Turkey and Bunny are learning about the different layers of the earth. They got to do a fun experiment which simulated the type of plastic rock you might find in the mantle. Ladybug is now learning about sharks and rays, which is very exciting to her, especially since she has had the opportunity to touch the stingrays at the St. Louis Zoo many times!
We even picked up our literature studies where we left off. I’m really enjoying going through Greek Myths with Ladybug, especially since I now get to hear Bunny’s, and particularly Turkey’s, commentary on the stories, having studied them further for school and for fun. I’m also still enjoying reading through Treasure Island with Turkey and Bunny…we’re all trying to guess what will happen next!
We got through all of our subjects, but we didn’t get around to everything every day. Hopefully this week, we’ll get back into our routine a little better, and things will feel a bit more normal!
This evening I decided to stop at Walmart.
I know. I should have my head examined. Here we are, with an ice storm warning set to begin tomorrow, and last for over 48 hours, and I picked Walmart of all places to shop at. The best part is, I didn’t truly need anything. There were, however, a few things I wanted to pick up, and I knew Walmart was the only place I could find them.
So, Turkey and Moose and I went to Walmart after catechesis. It was as you would expect. The parking lot was a nightmare, there were few carts to be found, the snack and soda aisles were pretty much wiped clean, and the only thing that saved the milk coolers from the same fate was the fact that they were actively being restocked. The aisles were all backed up with carts, and there were traffic jams everywhere.
And then we got to the checkout lines.
I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen them that bad, not even at Christmas. There were plenty of lines open, but they were all long. Fortunately, the shoppers, at least in the line we ended up in, were pretty good-natured, and we even had a nice conversation with the gentleman in front of us as we waited.
This was all a bit too much for Moose, however. It was the end of a long day for him, after school and catechesis. And our stopping meant dinner was going to be late, and even though he was prepared for it ahead of time, that didn’t mean he was too happy about it. Plus, Walmart on a quiet day is bright and loud and overwhelming, to say nothing of Walmart before a St. Louis Weather French Toast Event. So he was acting a bit squirrely by the time it was our turn to put our items on the belt and pay.
He was trying his best to help with the bagging process, but it wasn’t really working. And I was trying to just get him to stand still, out-of-the-way, so the checker could do his job as efficiently as possible.
I guess he must have sensed my concern, because the cashier, who was a fairly young man, very deliberately made eye contact with me. And with more mercy than I’m used to hearing, he said, “It’s OK. I don’t mind at all. Really.”
I was stunned. There was something about his tone, and the way he looked at me, that made me wonder if he had personal experience with autism. Maybe a younger brother, or a friend. And I wish I had stopped to tell him how much his kindness meant to me, but I was still flustered, and still hoping that we weren’t holding things up for the people behind us, so I didn’t. But it one of those moments that I won’t forget. That night before the ice storm, when an unlikely person showed me some much-needed mercy.