Thursday, March 29, 2007

Time Together All Year Long

As a small publisher, I spend a lot of time at the post office. After my visit there yesterday, I walked past our dentist’s office, just a few doors down, and noticed that it was closed up and dark, which is a strange sight in the middle of a weekday afternoon. Then I remembered that this week is Spring Break around here, and our dentist always takes his family on a trip for Spring Break. He has a wife, two teenaged stepchildren and a small son, and it’s a good time for them to bond as a family; the rest of the year, they are each busy with their own schedules, and there’s not much time to be together.

It’s got to be hard to create family time on such an infrequent basis. That’s why we homeschooling families are so fortunate to have as much time together as we do. Our teens and tiny kids have the opportunity to grow close despite the gap in their ages. My adult daughter regularly calls her younger siblings and hangs out with them. Would that have happened if we hadn’t been home together for so many years? I wonder.

The concept of homeschoolers having more family time was a theme in the recent movie “RV,” which we watched on DVD last week. I don’t normally watch Robin Williams’ movies because he becomes so frenetic that I want to shoot him with a tranquilizer gun. But he wasn’t as bad in this one. He plays the father of a family whose members are too busy with their own concerns to spend much time together, and he sees that he needs to do something about it. So he takes his family on a long trip in a recreational vehicle (there’s another reason for the trip, which is part of the plot, but I won’t go into that here.)

While on their travels, they meet another traveling-by-RV family that they find quite annoying…you guessed it, a homeschooling family. That family lives in an RV, homeschooling as they travel. The family’s members are portrayed as out of the mainstream, compared to Williams’ family. But over time, Williams’ character sees the closeness in that family and decides it’s what he wants for his own.

We homeschooling families are blessed to be together every day, and even though it gets hard sometimes (financially, personally or both), we have to remember that we have something rare and precious in this world: time together. Seeing how the rest of the world, like my dentist or Robin Williams’ character in “RV,” lives can help remind us of that. I’m so glad I never had to wait for Spring Break to have time with my kids!

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