Sunday was a lot of sitting. During early service at Center Park Methodist, Pastor Lyne's lesson for the children was about waiting. She demonstrated by having them gather around her and then saying nothing for several seconds. The room began to feel heavy with expectation; people began to shift and giggle, wondering what she was up to. Finally she spoke, and she talked about how when one has joy, then even waiting (like waiting for Christmas) can be pleasant.
Madelyn's ballet recital was in Kalamazoo. We drove slooowly through the coming snow. It was a tough day for Nate as all the sitting goes against his urge toward continual motion. During the long wait before Madelyn's recital (we got there early, as required, and sat for an hour before the show), he squirmed and poked at his sister and generally lashed out as only one can while confined to a chair.
Looking for the "lesson" in this trial, I said, "You need to sit and wait."
"I'm booooored." he groaned. His face twisted like someone with a cramp.
"So be bored. Enjoy boredom. Think of your breath, how it feels going in and out."
My kids don't always cooperate with my yoga instructions. He whined again.
"Listen. Sometimes we have to do things that are not fun. Show your respect for this event and for the people here. This is your homeschooling today. This is your practice."
After a long drive home--me driving between 30 and 45 mph--we arrived home at dusk.
Our Friday night movie had been bumped by a Friday night yoga class, so we watched our movie Sunday: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. It's not a violent movie, but it's disturbing because it is based on the historical fact of concentration camps and what they were like. The characters are fictional, though. It's about a German boy who befriends a Jewish boy who lives behind the fence of a "work camp." The German boy, Bruno, thinks it's a farm and doesn't understand what "those people" are doing over there.
I had read the book and in my research found a movie based on it (2008). Madelyn watched it all; Nathan paced around until he was given the ultimatum to either "sit down or go to your room." He missed about a quarter of the movie and came in at the end.
The ending is sad. Rob was wary about having them watch it all--he could see where it was going--but I insisted we finish. They needed to know the rest of the story. To withhold the truth it was pointing to would have been as misguided as the parents in the movie who denied telling Bruno what that "boy in the striped pajamas" was doing behind the fence. Nate reacted in anger; Madelyn was sad. But we talked about how easy it is to be cruel to other living things when you rank them as "less" than you. A lot of sitting on this Sunday, but a lot of practice and learning, too.
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