Friday, March 11, 2005

The Man Who Tried to Save Me Part III

part I
part II
part IV

I didn’t want to bring the kids back to the Russian school, but my parents thought we had to give it another try. I let them do it, and they took the boys there one more time.

After they dropped the boys off at their classes, my parents ran into Ivan, who said, “There will be a lecture in the auditorium, do you want to join us?” They politely refused.

Evidently, this had been Ivan’s plan all along – send the kids to class, use any excuse to lure the parents into the auditorium, preach at the parents, and, before you know it, wham! They are converted. How optimistic does one have to be to believe that he can pull this off? It just blows my mind.

My kids, in the meantime, behaved badly in class, distracting other children. Normally, I wouldn’t let them get away with such behavior, but this time, it seemed like a sign from above. We stopped taking them to the Russian school and considered the case closed. Ivan, however, thought otherwise.

He started calling us at home. Each time, we’d explain that we decided to pull the kids out, it wasn’t working for us, yada yada yada. Each time, he’d agree with us, say he understands, and then a week later, call again. He talked to both my parents, my husband, even, I believe, one of the kids, but no one could convince him that we weren’t coming back. Finally, one day, I answered the phone. The conversation went something like this.

Ivan: I’m calling because you’re not bringing your children to school anymore.
Me: Yes, we decided to pull them out, sorry about that, it wasn’t working. The school is awesome, it’s excellent, best school I’ve ever seen. It’s just that my kids are being the problem, they are not interested, they are disrupting the teaching process, it’s in the best interest of other students that we pull my children out. (Classic dumping line – “it’s not you, it’s me”).
Ivan: Are you sure? That’s too bad. We had plans. The school is only going to be secular for the first year. Then we’ll start introducing Bible lessons. Our second year, we want to teach Russian for an hour, and have Bible studies for another hour. Eventually though, there will be no Russian class. It will be all Bible studies (WHA????)
Me: That sounds very interesting, but, sorry, our decision is final, we cannot bring them back.
Ivan (slowly, in a very kind voice) : This is so sad. You see, your children had the only chance in their lives to learn about what is good.
(30 second pause as I am speechless)
Me: As you know, my children have been attending Sunday school in their church for five years now, so, trust me, they have their chances.
(Ivan apologizes profusely. We part on almost friendly terms).

That seemed to work, as Ivan never called our house again. But was it over? Not by a long shot.

To be continued….

The Goldie has spoken at 1:23 PM

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