The comments I've received from people in our community about homeschooling have always been positive. For the most part, our community has been accepting of homeschoolers. I've heard about people receiving negative comments, but never experienced any until recently.
I went to our Sam's Club to fill up my car. I'd never used the pumps there before and I was reading the payment instructions on the pump when an older man who works there approached me. I explained I was reading the payment instructions. I asked him if the pump took the Wal-Mart Gift Cards? He said condescendingly "Well, you can try honey." I then tried to back up my car to line it up with the pump and he said "No, no..." and put his hand through my open window and turned my wheel and ordered me forward like I was a 15 year old child learning to drive for the first time. He then glanced in the back of my car and said "What are you doing running around town with kids in the back of your car?" I was taken aback by his tone and question. I jokingly said "Oh my goodness... my kids told me they didn't have school today." He didn't get the joke. I then told him "Thank you for your concern, we homeschool." (Which is my pat answer to every nosey person who questions why children dare show their faces in a store in the middle of the day.)
He then got inches from my face and said "What in the world would want to make YOU homeschool." (Like I was an idiot who had no business schooling my children.) As sweetly as I could muster I said "We enjoy spending time with our children and they enjoy having time pursing those areas of school they are interested in." I then turned my attention to the pumps weary of my conversation with this man. He continued "When I was a kid I used to pretend I was sick so I could stay home and then I was so bored all day at home." I looked at him and said "My children are very busy. We don't have time to be bored." He then said something that peeked my interest he said "When I was a school principal at ______, we didn't have any gang or drug problems. Now those problems are creeping in. We also didn't have any homeschoolers in our community." I thought it was funny that he thought that his presence somehow kept away the drugs and gangs. I also assured him that there were probably a lot of homeschoolers in his community, but he didn't know about them. But I began to wonder why this man who used to be a school principal was now working at the Sam's gas pump?
Later, I wondered why I felt the need to convince this man why homeschooling was so good. I should have just ignored him or drove to another pump. His opinion has no influence on if I homeschool or not. My Southern training won't let me be rude to anyone. I may need some "retraining" in this area. As a school principal, perhaps he was used to manipulating others to get his way and using tactics to show his authority so that the kids didn't run all over him. These don't translate well to polite society. Something to think about.
I realized that Satan likes to get us off track. He likes to plant seeds of doubt in our minds. Are my kids really bored? Why do I think I can possibly do this? Blah, blah, blah... Lots of noise. I pray for this man. I don't know what circumstances brought him to pumping gas at Sam's. It can't have been anything good. He was used by the enemy that day. But God can turn what the enemy meant for evil to His good. While the enemy meant to throw me off track that day, I chose to pray for this man. Take that Satan!