Wednesday, January 19, 2005


Whenever I feel sort of melancholic like this, it is usually an indicationthat I either need food, or a nap.

I don't need food, so it is probably time for a nap, and also time to go home.

I got a phone call from Sam's principal earlier: he forgot to get on the bus to go to the Presbytarian Church for this after-school program Mark signed the kids up for.

I did not panic. I said, "Is he at the After-School program?" Meaning the one they have at the school. Another phone call: Yes, yes he was.

They put him on the phone. "Do you want me to pick you up and take you to the church?"

"No, I'm having fun here."

I decided to go ahead and jaunt to the church, mere blocks away, and let the other two and the teachers there know not to worry. When I told Christian that Sam wasn't coming, he burst into tears. Sigh. And he was mad at me because I chose the pork sandwich for him instead of the spaghetti.

Fortunately, they were starting an activity so I just kissed him and Tommy and told them I'd be back.

Now. When I first got there, the kids were all seated around a table with snacks in front of them and reciting a Bible passage (I think). Except for Christian, who looked embarrassed, and Tommy, who looked bored.

And every impulse I have to run from propoganda reared up-- they are going to have my kids sit and memorize stuff??? I just wanted to take them out of there.

I don't really think the kids are going to love it. On the other hand, I was given an opportunity to read the Bible as a child/youth, and it is an important part of cultural literacy (NOT that I like E. D. Hirsch, who is a nazi). And I have nothing against the kids going, or the Presbytarian Church, and I know they won't do that the whole time.

It is not a brainwashing camp for my children.

It is not a brainwashing camp for my children.

But still, it was a little creepy.

On the other hand, the kids looked happy (well, not my kids, but the other kids), and I know the woman who runs the program (from way back when I used to infrequently attend the church), and I like the Presbytarian minister. And on the whole, I am satisfied with the kids going there.

I don't like the kids having to say the Pledge of Allegiance in the morning either.

But I think it's also wise to pick my battles. Sam had the right idea by just not going. I think Tommy tried that and they went and got him (I called their after school program to see where the younger two had gone).

Now, I have this to figure out: when the kids' campus pals start again, the kids will end up going to the school's After-School Program only four days/month. This program is NOT cheap. But it is the only chance they have to see some of their friends. And when I broached the subject with them last night about discontinuing, they all balked. It provides a constancy and structure in their lives that I am loathe to give up. And frankly, I can afford to send them. So, I will continue to do so.

But it hurts a leetle bit.

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