Sharper Image

Usually on back to school night, Jennifer goes to meet teachers while I stay home with the girls. But this Tuesday we decided the girls were old enough to stay home by themselves. This allowed Jennifer and me to split up, each going to one girl’s class.

I’m sure there was lots to learn, but I ended up fixating on Lucy’s pencils while I sat at her desk. The graphite tip had fallen out of every one she had. Clearly, we need to get our daughter better pencils, but for the short term I decided at least to sharpen them for her. So it was that when Jennifer got done with Kathleen’s teacher she had time to walk to Lucy’s room and still found me uncomfortably crouched over, grinding away with a classic wall mounted pencil sharpener that was affixed to a bookcase at about waist height.

Lucy went to school yesterday and did not mention her newly sharpened pencils last night, so I decided to ask her about it this morning.

Me: “Did you see I sharpened your pencils?!”

Lucy: “Yea. But you didn’t do all of them.”

Me: “Well I did the ones at the top of your desk.”

Lucy: “Yea. Why didn’t you leave me a note? You always leave me a note.”

Me: “Well I’ve never actually gone to this before, so I guess Mom usually leaves you a note.”

Lucy: “She usually leaves a note that says she loves us.”

Me: “Well I showed you I love you by sharpening your pencils!”

Lucy: “Dad, that is seriously the stupidest way to love someone.”

It’s nice being appreciated.


For Kathleen’s taekwando, students must earn three “stripes” in the classes between belt testings to be eligible to move up a belt.

Kathleen usually goes to taekwando on Tuesdays and Thursdays. But this week, when she got out of her Tuesday class, she told me that belt testing was this Friday. Kathleen had only earned one stripe, and you can only earn one stripe per class. So, Kathleen decided that she wanted to go back Wednesday and Thursday to get her stripes and be ready for testing today. Jennifer and I were proud of her devotion. We told her we would drive her to taekwando every night for the rest of the week if this was what it took.

Wednesday she attended and, sure enough, earned her second stripe.

Thursday we rushed through back to school night to get her to Taekwando, and made it just in time. She secured her third stripe and walked to me with a look a look of intense pride after her class.

It was at that time that I pointed Kathleen to a sign I had noticed while she was in class. It read: “Regular classes cancelled on August 17 for belt testing.” There was no belt testing this week, it happens NEXT Friday.

Reflecting on the situation today, Kathleen pronounced: “I hate it when I try hard!!!”

I think she may be taking away the wrong lesson.

Divine or Human, We All Need Naps.

This Sunday, I didn’t have a good plan for Sunday School, so I decided to ask people for their favorite and least favorite Bible verses. This prompted the following discussion as my family got out of the car in the church parking lot.

Jennifer: “My favorite verse is when God is done with work and he gets to rest.”

Lucy: “What?”

Kathleen: “Yea. God created for six days, then rested on the seventh.”

Me: “But you notice that God only started out with a one day weekend. We had to wait for Jesus to have a two day weekend.”

Jennifer: “No.”

Me: “Yes. God rested on the last day of the week. Jesus rose on the first day of the week. So thank Jesus for having two days for the weekend!”

Jennifer, shaking her head: “Nope. Labor unions man, labor unions.”

And on that note we walked into Church.