The Parent Imperfect truly has no time for this today, but, for once, he will prioritize it over the work that pays (some of) the bills.
Not only was this past weekend a long (for the children) holiday weekend, but it was the sort of gorgeous weekend that makes one need to be outside. The Parent Imperfect spent a couple of hours outside at the second session of the Regan League tryouts on Saturday, and then the entire family forced open the time to take a walk around the Castle Island Causeway on Sunday afternoon. Other than that, there was a great deal of cajoling a certain teenager to make progress on the huge (no, ridiculous) amount of homework that he had this weekend. TAKE HEED, THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE ABOUT TO SIGN ON THE DOTTED LINE TO SEND YOUR SEVENTH GRADER DOWN THIS SAME PATH! The PI certainly understands the momentum that happens when a family gets the invitation, but the nation’s oldest public school puts a huge burden on both student and family.
In the middle of it all, the happy family made it to Theodore Parker Church for the Easter Sunday service. A larger-than-normal group of pew fillers heard quite a nice sermon by Rev. Bruce Taylor about the connections between the stories of Passover and Easter, and the continuing relevance of each for a world still very much in need of liberation. Bruce is a recently-ordained Unitarian Universalist minister who did a ministerial internship at TPCUU a few years ago. Bruce turned to the ministry relatively late in life, and certain aspects of his new calling were a challenge for him when he was at TPCUU earlier. If his thought-provoking sermon was any indication, he has really worked hard at his new vocation, and the PI hopes to soon hear that Bruce has been called to serve a UU congregation.
And, of course, there were Easter programs for the children of TPC. Rather than hunt for Easter eggs, these poor children search the Parish Hall looking for canned goods that go to a local food bank. After their search they come together for a discussion of the Easter story.
A lover of stories, Connie was ready with her own telling for the rest of the family. “And then they had a Conscious Pilot wash his hands of the blood of Jesus…” (rather than Pontius Pilate). Why a pilot (conscious or not) would have anything to do with this was another of those unexplained religious mysteries for Ms. Connie. The PI could not but remember the way in which the details of this story were drummed into him by the good sisters at St. Francis de Sales.
But the character that most stood out for Connie was Barabbas. “He was the real criminal that they let go so that they could crucify Jesus.” There is something about that part of the story that really piqued her interest. She wants to know if Barabas killed anyone else after they let him go. The PI suggested that Barabas probably became a consultant, but he promised to try to find out what really happened to him.
After church and the walk around Castle Island, the attention of too many people turned to the grim world of Vince’s homework. He had to finish preparing a declamation in Latin of a section of The Cat in the Hat. No memorization is easy for V., but Latin memorization is way over the top. At least the Latin translation has something of the cadence of the Dr. Seuss original. In addition to the memorization, he also had to present a visual collage representing the action in his particular part of the book.
And, if that wasn’t enough, he also had to put together a physical model of a Boron atom, using spray-painted styrofoam balls and wire. That isn’t as easy as it might seem, especially given the fact that regular spray paint reacts chemically (with toxic results) with styrofoam. Of course, the model had to be accompanied by a short research paper on the properties of the element in question.The intensity of the day (on such a beautiful day) dredged up the memories of the end of the spring quarter of the PI’s first year at Northeastern. He was doing final projects and studying for finals well into June as the evil neighbors in the air shaft blasted Alice Cooper with, Schoooooool’s out for summer! Should Vince really be doing this in seventh grade?
Vince prospered for years with a strategy of doing today what needed to be handed in tomorrow, and it has been hard for him to let go of a winning strategy. That strategy has failed miserably all year, but it really collapsed this weekend. What does it take for any of us to think beyond the demands of tomorrow?