Sigh. The Walking Dead madness has finally caught up with me.
I just happened to watch one (count it – one) episode of the current season with my husband and I just happened to mention that I would – someday – maybe – like to watch the show from the beginning.
And then, before I knew it, that was that.
There I was, watching The Walking Dead from the beginning, getting upset at bad decisions as if I was watching sports, crying over babies been born and children growing up in nightmarish scenarios and generally making a mess of my evenings binge watching the show. And, oh by the way, thinking up ways The Walking Dead isn’t really that different from my comfortable, suburban, homeschooling world after all.
I know, I know. Overactive nerdy brains, unite!
So, yeah, you already know that I like to get my inspiration where I find it. And this particular time it was in Season 3. (No spoilers, please. I’m barely at the beginning of the fourth season.)
It was at the moment when the main character, Rick, is losing his grip on reality after his wife dies. The other people depending on him are understanding of his need to mourn, but in their rather, er, unnatural situation, their patience runs out and there are added dangers and complications which have to be solved. They need him. So they give him a singular perspective. They repeat to him what he has told them earlier when asserting his leadership.
“This is not a democracy,” they remind him, nudging him to regain his mental balance.
That phrase spoke to me.
As a homeschooling mom, I have used that phrase, often in jest, with my children.
“This is not a democracy, kids!”
“This is NOT a democracy! It’s a benevolent dictatorship.”
“Not a democracy. Do it because I said so.”
“You don’t always get to do what you want to. You don’t always get to pick. This is not a democracy, guys.”
I have said it more times than I can count with a scheduling chart.
The Walking Dead brought it into stark perspective. If it isn’t a democracy, that meant someone is in charge and that someone is me (and my husband, of course.)
On a daily basis, it is up to me to lead. As a classical unschooler, I am guided by my children’s needs and interests, but I am still required to steer, to know where we’re headed, to make decisions that affect all of us. I am required to lead.
It’s not just a good idea, it is absolutely necessary.
Our family isn’t a democracy. Neither is our homeschool. We have a leader. And it’s me.
It is a sobering, sobering thought. And a good reminder.
Who said watching TV was a waste of time?