So. Yesterday we loaded up the tribe and went to yesterday's Open House evening at the kids' school. Chanel was here, so she got the chance to meet TJ's teacher. Our youngest sister Danielle also tagged along. She's all about family involvement with her nieces and nephews. Or maybe she knew she could raid the fridge when we got home. At any rate, Open House was a whirlwind rush from one end of the school to the other. It started promptly at 6pm with an en masse welcome in the school's gym (the better to lure you into joining the PTO, my dear). The principal also discussed the year's ongoing projects, such as Boxtops for Education and the Great Crayon Drive, in which we were encouraged to send in broken and stubby bits of crayon in a system-wide collective effort to make our county the producer of the world's largest crayon, thereby knocking Crayola from its long-held place in the Guiness Book of World Records. At first I exhaled a melodramatic this is the cheesiest thing ever type of sigh, but when El Cinco began excitedly chattering about how they planned to stop leaving their crayons scattered everywhere and scour the house for rogue crayon nubs, I thought FREAK, YEAH! THIS IS THE BESTEST CONTEST EVER! because it motivated my clutterbug children to clean. Finally, we were dismissed to the "breakout" session where we were free to visit our childrens' classrooms. We whizzed through three hallways, visiting El Cinco's Kindergarten, 2nd, and 3rd grade classrooms. We were in a mad dash to get home and get the troops fed, bathed, and in bed so that we could watch the Democratic Convention without interruption.
I'm not exactly the most politically-minded individual, but as a responisble citizen I pay attention enough to know about who stands where on certain issues so that I can make educated decisions. It's not often that I'm charged above a basic interest level about politics, but this election is historic in ways that none before it have been. The unfolding of the Presidential race has been nothing short of enthralling.
We were especially looking forward to hearing Michelle Obama speak. As she spoke of her childhood memories of watching her father's health decline due to his Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis, my thoughts couldn't help but turn to Frank's MS. I thought of our children, who through the walls I could hear still giggling when they should have been settling down to sleep. Will they have to watch Frank's health and abilities wane just as Michelle had to watch her father struggle with physical tasks as simple as buttoning shirts? When she finished speaking, the weight which hovered around us indicated that my sisters and Frank were all thinking along similar lines.
Finally Frank – oh, he of little words – broke the silence. "I wonder…" he began somewhat somberly, and my sisters and I leaned in expectantly and exchanged startled glances like Dude! The Quiet One speaketh so thou shalt not interrupt. He continued, furrowing his eyebrows in profound thought and looking off into nowhere as if the words he wanted to say were etched somewhere far in the unfocused distance, "…how the heck do they think they're going to beat Crayola at making the world's biggest crayon? They have wax for days and don't do anything there but make crayons all day."
He's a smart one.