Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Open House

Luke 8:16-17 (NIV)

“No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open. …”
Tonight was open house at Jack’s school. We decided it was best to leave Charlie at home, but Max wanted to tag along so he, Jack and I headed over in time to hit the book fair before visiting a few of Jack’s teachers.

It was great to see his new classroom and teacher, as well as his old teacher and a few of the other faces we’ve come to know well over the last three years. While I don’t think she planned it, Jack’s teacher conveniently had a PowerPoint issue she needed resolved as soon as we got in the door. She’d taken photos of the kids and had them type a sentence about what they’re been learning, but it wasn’t playing automatically. So Jack got to work establishing a five-second display time for each slide, added a transition effect and then set it on a loop so it would scroll continuously throughout the night.

Making the PowerPoint magic happen.
He put his computer skills on display later in the evening when he tried to help a fellow student log on in the computer lab. She didn’t understand what he was telling her (though he was being pretty clear) so he politely typed the user name and password before going back to showing Max how to work a game geared to his level. Another quick source of joy for me was when Jack recognized one of the boys from his Cub Scout den. It may not seem like much, but out of context it’s kind of a big deal.

The words of Jesus from Luke kind of rattled around my head when I read them after we got home. We very much tried to keep the mood light, and I’m proud of Jack for his ability to interact positively with the administrators he doesn’t always agree with during the school day. I enjoy connecting with the teachers, and it’s clear they genuinely care about my kid and have taken the time to understand his personality. But with any school event there’s no escaping the reality that school is a difficult experience for our family.

But for one night I looked past those things and saw a boy who truly does enjoy interacting with his teachers (if not all of his peers), who can produce excellent work when properly motivated and who delights in being the big brother, showing his preschool-aged sibling around the elementary school he’s come to master over the last three years. It’s a window into the world that occupies most of his waking hours, though clearly filtered through the lens of a special event where the halls are teeming with families.

Some days I just wish the school year would end tomorrow, or that we could wave a magic wand and give Jack a different approach to bring to the classroom every day. But we can’t do it that way, nor should we. We’ve got to work harder in one situation than a lot of families, but that’s OK. We aren’t concealing reality from ourselves, just honestly trying to do our best for our kids. By what precise means remains to be seen, but the how will never be as important as the what. And nothing will ever be as important as how much we love our sons and want them to find true success in life.

A prayer for May 1:

Lord, sometimes when life is rough I want to tell everyone in hopes someone can offer a solution. Other times I try to keep everything a secret to no one will question me or think I’m anything but normal. But you know it all, and I’m incredibly happy that’s the case. I can’t hide anything from you, nor do I want to. I need you to know me inside and out in order to help me shape myself according to your will. Neither do I want to hide from the world the way your love has guided my life. Please help me reflect your light to others that they may understand the power of your grace. Amen.

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