Thursday, August 21, 2008

Time rolls on

My children started school yesterday. Our youngest son Jordan started Kindergarten, so all our children are attending Westminster during the day now. Can you guess who was in charge of buying their shoes this year?

As my wife walked Jordan to his class, she found herself tearing up. I made fun of her for this since our kids go to the school that our church runs, it's hardly sending them off to the unknown. Further, our children have been alive long enough to watch the church and school develop and are very familiar with the classrooms, halls, cafeteria, and all the places that would normally cause a new student anxiety. Jordan's teacher is one of our elders wives who also taught my other two boys when they were in kindergarten. Jordan very confidently entered the classroom and met up with his buddies from church and pre-school and also made a few new friends right off the bat. So again, I made fun of my wife for getting weepy over the start of this new epoch in Jordan's life.

I've been thinking today about why parents cry over such transitions. As it relates to Jordan, we're talking 3 hours of "formal" class time each day away from the home, at a place he knows very well. What gives?

I think we cry over such transitions because they mark the advance of time that cannot be stopped. We feel a bit out of control concerning the inevitable passage of time. Time spent cannot be retrieved. Our children will continue to grow and become less and less dependant on us. I think we cry because they need us less as they mature. I think we cry because we're happy they have come to a new milestone. I think we cry because yesterday is never the same as today when we are living and parenting. We can't have back what once was and we really aren't sure what comes next. Shari even told me of one mother who has older boys (the youngest is in 7th grade) crying as she watched the kindergarten students entering their class. Why was she crying? Because she remembers when her youngest went to kindergarten and simultaneously sensed how fast the years have gone by.

This morning I drove the boys in to school myself. I pulled around the circle drop-off and they all piled out to go to their classes. I rolled down the window and shouted to AJ (my oldest) to make sure Jordan got to his class alright before he went to his room. Just as I was giving this direction to him, Jordan interrupted and said "no daddy, I don't need help, I know where I'm going" and he walked off on his own.

I felt something...I confess a tear was coming, but I shook my head real fast to head off such a weak display, rolled up the window, and drove off and up to my office.

Isaac Watts was right- time is like an ever-rolling stream.


Phantom495 said...

Whew! I was worried toward the end of your post when it sounded like you might actually shed a tear! Thank you for maintaining your composure and not displaying such an un-manly emotional state.

Time does roll on! Your boys are all in school now and mine is engaged to be married! I have many of those "flashbacks" lately of Rick heading off to school, in his cub scout uniform, playing T-ball, soccer, etc... What's that? No, no... No tears in these eyes, that's just allergies!

God is Sovereign!

Frontier Forest said...

For the life of me, can’t figure out why you weren’t balling? Your story moved me to tears, but then again, I cry when I squash a butterfly of my car windshield. This was indeed a very special day for the Felich family; all being richly blessed at Westminster Christian Academy and for sure, “it is well with their souls!”

Reepicheep said...

Admitting tears constitutes some kind of man law violation.


barnezy said...

Men are only allowed to shed tears on the field of battle... or competition. You must never break the sacred man laws, for the punishment is excommunication from the order of the Uber-men. If that tear would have hit your cheek, I must confess that I would probably have backslidden and joined my other brothers in their Arminianistic ways. God keepyou for staying strong!!!!

The Crazy Bus said...

How sweet! We are right there with ya! Ryan starts Kindergarten in a week or so, as well as Kevin in pre-k. *sigh*

Rick Calohan said...

It was like I was watching A River Runs Through It for the great story telling, then for a brief moment I thought you were going to go into Lou Gehrig farewell speech. Albeit unlike like Lou the Lutheran, you Tony the Calvinist probably would have said, “By Divine Providence.”

Full text version of the Farewell Speech

"Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about the bad break I got. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of this earth. I have been in ballparks for seventeen years and have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans.

"Look at these grand men. Which of you wouldn't consider it the highlight of his career just to associate with them for even one day? Sure, I'm lucky. Who wouldn't consider it an honor to have known Jacob Ruppert? Also, the builder of baseball's greatest empire, Ed Barrow? To have spent six years with that wonderful little fellow, Miller Huggins? Then to have spent the next nine years with that outstanding leader, that smart student of psychology, the best manager in baseball today, Joe McCarthy? Sure, I'm lucky.

"When the New York Giants, a team you would give your right arm to beat, and vice versa, sends you a gift - that's something. When everybody down to the groundskeepers and those boys in white coats remember you with trophies - that's something. When you have a wonderful mother-in-law who takes sides with you in squabbles with her own daughter - that's something. When you have a father and a mother who work all their lives so you can have an education and build your body - it's a blessing. When you have a wife who has been a tower of strength and shown more courage than you dreamed existed - that's the finest I know.

"So I close in saying that I may have had a tough break, but I have an awful lot to live for."

It's OK to cry, I do when we sing Silent Night at Christmas Eve Service. I'm sure we all cried when we watched Ole Yeller. OK bad example for Tony anyway, I digress.

I know I like you and your wife will probably choke up or shed a tear when my son John has his first day of school in about five years.

The last time I cried, ummn Sunday night when my 17 year old cat Kudo died.

God gives us emotions and tears are a part of it. Remember the shortest verse in the Bible.

John 11:35 35 Jesus wept.

A Mighty Fortress is Our God Last Stanza

That Word above all earthly powers,
No thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours
Through him who with us sideth;
Let goods and kindred go,
This mortal life also;
The body they may kill:
God's truth abideth still;
His kingdom is for ever. said...

But wait, is it ok to admit a tear at my own stupidity at missing a chance at shooting a big 8-pointer because i stupidly sat down in my stand and stopped paying attention long enough for the big guy to walk into bow range, and me not being able to get up because he would have seen me for sure??

If not, then I never did that...

jeff said...

by the way, great picture of the 'Tre Fratelli Felich'

Reepicheep said...

Thanks for the confirmation Barnezy, we have to keep each other true to the Man-Law Ethic.

Still, you have to admit that Jeff has a point- missing a big buck should give an allowance for long as no one see's you doing it. Don't you think?

barnezy said...

The fact that you have the capacity for crying intrigues me. I thought real men were born with the absence of tear ducts. It must be very hard for Jeff losing such an impressive buck. I wish I could speak from experience, but as you know I only hunt on high-fenced ranches with world-class deer tied to stakes. If I had the capacity to cry, I guess I might in such an instance. The only thing I can think of that resembles your story is the time that I had a large Oklahoma deer come under my stand and was unable to maneuver my bow for a shot. I had to jump with my knife in my mouth off of a 12 foot tree stand in order to land on the deer's back. Apparently when he heard me leap he threw his head back and jabbed me pretty good with his G4's. Apparently deer can box pretty well and after a good 45-50 sparring session I decided that I'd rather climb back up my stand with no dignity than to walk with a permanent limp. Results are as follows...

Deer = 1, Barnezy = 0

I guess in this type of circumstance, crying would be permitted, but I still don't understand why God created you guys with tear ducts. Must be rough trying to hold back tears every time you watch Simon Birch.

Reepicheep said...

Barnezy, you raise several good points. Much more thought on this is needed.

Matt said...

Tony, don't sweat it. Per The Godfather, there is no shame when it comes to shedding tears for family. I don't think the Man Law would dare contradict The Godfather. It would be like Tony Felich contradicting Calvin, wouldn't it?

barnezy said...

The Godfather was a movie. The crying was simply Hollywood effects. These movies, although timeless, should not be the gold standard for determining the rules for male-crying. Notice that I did not say man-crying? I hold firm to my original position, men are not created with tear ducts.

Reepicheep said...

With regard to The Godfather and the alleged crying that went on...tears were never visible. Lamenting doesn't violate Man-Law. Vito certainly lamented the loss of Sonny. There was much concern and mourning over various untimely deaths, but can anyone verify actual tears being shed?

I'm not sure how this post went down this trail, but I'm sure I am to blame.

barnezy said...

I have the extended version, the original cut. Tears are shown, and yes it is your fault that this post went down this way. HA HA! Love the Destruction Derby piece

Reepicheep said...

The more time rolls on, the more sweet is our family to me. Raising three boys to become godly leaders is a high calling indeed.