Happy first week, Academy Family. And happy waffle-making.

From your Headmaster Father Nathan Carr

My wife and I set the alarm early—5:15am—so that having mashed the snooze button on my broken iPhone screen 2 or 3 times, it almost feels like we’ve slept in. Buzzing through the kitchen to start the coffee pot, the opening lines of Cake’s “The Distance” invariably flow through my head, “Reluctantly crouched at the starting line…” (Can I just say here that 90’s rock will never die?)

Divide and conquer next: six shirts/blouses; a dozen shoes. Six pants/skirts; a dozen uniform socks (“Do we own a dozen matching socks?” I ask myself). Six sandwiches; six chip bags; six pieces of fruit. Three kids need two snacks each, the other three have them stowed in their lockers. Six water bottles – pink bottom, blue lid. Black bottle, yellow lid (“Why do these things never match?” I ask myself. “Didn’t we just buy these?”)

Meanwhile, two waffle mixes to be spun together – one gluten; another gluten free. Double the first recipe; half the second. Whisking wizardry on the payload of cheap caffeine, I spin around and realize that I haven’t even plugged in the waffle iron. Fifteen-yard penalty. One more missed pass, and we might have to punt and take our tardies.

Two kids to midtown, four to north; dad to south campus by 8:45am. We read four verses of Scripture, scrub a sticky counter, bow our heads for a short prayer, chug some lukewarm coffee, and grab our backpacks. Cake’s earworm returns, “Engines pumping and thumping in time…”

Halfway down the driveway we remember – MASKS!

Welcome back to school, friends—to a menagerie of masked superheroes whose victory over a spelling list is as convincing as a Michael Keaton Batman dangling Jack Nicholson over a giant vat of green…well…toxic waste? What is that stuff, anyway? Let’s make our provisional masking as cool as a 1980’s Tim Burton film.

And for parents whose days seem to be bookended with the same sandwich bread that we just shoved in a Ziplock, let me say this—I long thought that God’s grace was primarily available on the other side of my pulpit when I rolled a clever metaphor right out of the Minor Prophets. But then I found that same grace in my waffle maker. The cross that vanquishes death, forgives sin, and gives justice a fighting chance is the same cross that pours grace into every mundane activity of parenting. Your waffle-making does not lie on the beach of his oceanic grace—your waffle-making is drowning right in the center of it. Grace all the way down—that’s the promise of the Gospel for parents, educators, virus-dodgers, and Algebra head-scratchers. None of it escapes his pervasive, expansive, lavish, and life-giving Love.

Let’s do this! Happy first week, Academy Family. And happy waffle-making.