Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Family Motto

On the plane home from Rome I watched the movie The Great Debaters starring Denzel Washington. I had read an interview with Denzel Washington where he spoke about his family’s motto, which was included in the movie. The Washington Family Motto is, “We do what we have to do so we can do what we want to do.” I liked that when I read it and I liked it when I heard it in the movie.

Our family doesn’t have an official motto, but we do have a similar saying, “Because that’s what we do.” It’s a no-excuses statement – never mind what everyone else is doing; we meet our commitments, we don’t whine, we just get the job done. I recently said this to my eleven-year-old son when he woke up on the morning of his last basketball game in an “off” mood. I checked him for fever, asked about ailments – none of either, just “off”. So, I stroked his hair back from his forehead and told him, “This is the last basketball game of the season. You go to the game, you play your hardest and then you can come home and veg for the rest of the day. You just get through it because that’s what we do.”

As our family has gone through the last two days, recovering from our trip and illnesses incurred on the trip along with jet lag and the expected massive amounts of work to catch up on at home, school and office, our statement and the Washington Family Motto ring in my head. The kids were all tired yesterday morning when it was time to get up for school, my husband, the last one to get sick, is still recovering, I’m looking at three weeks of intense work before an upcoming conference, but we all got up and we all set about doing what needs to be done. Last night we had a nice, quiet evening and enjoyed the feeling of accomplishment from having made it through the first day back in the real world. I’m proud of our children for their commitment to jobs, school and activities. I like that our family is strong-minded and tough-willed. We work hard, but we also laugh, love, tease and have fun – because that’s what we do.

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