Sunday, August 26, 2007

Convicted by an Adam Sandler Movie?

Hi, David again.

Tomorrow is the first day of school, and I think we're as ready as we can be. I really have enjoyed getting to know my staff over the last couple of months, and they seem to be as excited about the new year as I am. I feel very fortunate to be here in the Killeen ISD. It's a great district, and a good fit for me. It will be great when the kids arrive for school tomorrow! One of the best teachers I worked with in Muleshoe was Tom Boutell. He always referred to the weeks leading up to the start of school as "pretend school", i.e., meetings, professional development, yada, yada, yada. Mr. Boutell would always say, around the Thursday before school started, "I'm tired of pretend school. I'm ready for the kids to come." I loved hearing him say that, and I think I will always hear his voice saying that around this time of year.

As Kristi mentioned, I did throw out my back a couple of weeks ago. The phrase "threw out his back" brings to mind some great athletic manuever, or powerful show of force in moving some heavy piece of furniture. Not in my case. If you must know, I bent straight forward to lift Benjamin off the toilet seat. In that split second, I felt that old, familiar, sharp pain at the base of my back, and saw the next two weeks flash before my eyes. I've done this before, and it's always the same drill: Feel OK that night, but wake up the next morning bent to the left 45 degrees at the waist. I'm not kidding. Go to the doctor, get muscle relaxers, drive family crazy by moaning and groaning as the muscles heal at a snail's pace over the next two weeks. I'm finally close to being normal again. A big thank-you to Kristi's dad, Al, who came up from Marble Falls last week and mowed the yard for me. The chances of my doing that chore were about as good as my running a marathon in normal condition. I guess it's pretty sad. Between a 71-year old and a newly-minted 34-year old, who do you really think should be mowing whose yard? Thanks again, Al!

Have you ever seen the movie "Click"? It stars Adam Sandler. That brings to mind all sorts of things, I know, but bear with me. The premise of the movie is that this guy is given a remote control that can actually control the world around him, allowing him to pause the action, view past events, and, of course, fast-forward through events he would rather not have to live through. What starts out as a small convenience ends up ruining his life, as he basically fast-forwards through all of it, missing everything he valued most. He ends up bitterly regretting this, and vents to the character who gave him the remote: "Why did you do this to me?" or something like that. What the character said to him haunted me: "You were fast-forwarding through your life long before you ever met me."

Why did this haunt me? I have to confess that it's hard for me to stop looking ahead to the next "thing" and just enjoy where I am. I frequently think and say things like, "It will be so great when we..." or "Once we finally get past such-and-such..." Don't get me wrong. Thinking ahead and planning are important, but somehow we have to balance thinking ahead with enjoying where we are.

As for the movie, it's not for kids. It does include a ladle-full of crass, Adam-Sandler junk. But, even from that stew came a lesson that hit me hard.

I am amazingly blessed, with a wife who loves me, and two wonderful sons who think I hung the moon. I don't want to miss a thing.

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