Friday, May 27, 2016

And the Oscar goes to...

We’re blessed that on top of being a good kid, our kiddo is a good student. So when a letter addressed to the Parents of the Kiddo came in the mail stating he was to be at an academic awards ceremony at the high school last evening, we were pretty pumped. What was weird was that the letter didn’t say the first thing about what the award was for. So we did what all well-meaning parents do—we quizzed the kiddo, who knew nothing about any award, and we started having fun with the process.
For the last two weeks we’ve spent time guessing what award the kiddo was going to receive, which is funny since he’s a freshman and this awards ceremony is new to us and we don’t even know the categories. One night at dinner I very casually said I thought he’d been nominated for Best Original Score, wondering if my guys would get the joke. It seemed appropriate given we blast music for an hour and a half every morning before school. They both smiled and that was that. A few nights later the hubster came home from work and announced offhandedly he thought the kiddo had been nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. Seriously, when this kid decides to argue with us, he could win an Oscar hands down. A few days later still, the kiddo said he thought he was up for Sound Editing. Ha! We went on like this the entire time we waited for the night to arrive, sticking with our categories while secretly wondering if the award was for debate--the kiddo had a great season and loved the class. Or maybe history? That’s his area of serious expertise. 
It turns out we were all wrong. Last night we clapped and beamed like the proud, embarrassing parents we are as the kiddo received the award for Best Foreign Language Film (outstanding achievements in French).

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Things Break...

Have you ever been so mad you wanted to break something?  That happened to me on Sunday and you know what I did?  After standing in my driveway arguing with the kiddo about yard work, I went in to my house and grabbed a small porcelain saucer then I marched right back outside and smashed it against the concrete of my front walkway. 
“What did you do that for?” the kiddo snapped, a look of confusion crossing his face as he stared at me.  Then he watched as I frantically scrambled to pick up all of the pieces I could.  It was some of my finest acting.  When I turned and asked him to hold out his hands, he looked at me as if I’d finally lost the last of my marbles.

“I'm so sorry I broke this plate,” I offered half-heartedly in my best whining-like-my-teenage-does voice.

“Sorry doesn’t fix it!” he responded.

“No, it doesn't. So when you're rude and condescending and you glare at me and roll your eyes and bark one word answers and look at me with a face that says please stop talking and just leave me alone, a quick and easy sorry doesn't fix it.”

We were fighting over chores that should've been done on Friday but the kiddo had better things to do that afternoon so he put off his work until Sunday.  When I reminded him of my expectations Saturday night, I got a smile and a no problem and I knew right then this would be war.  No problem coming from my kiddo is always, in fact, a problem.  It came as little surprise when he snarled at me after church when I asked him to tackle his chores before he got involved in other things.

Yet it wasn’t until he flounced around huffing and sighing for nearly half an hour before doing what turned out to be a barely passable job that I lost it.  So I smashed the plate and gave my speech about half hearted work and weak I’m sorry’s before heading back inside and leaving him to redo all of his work for the second time. 

Fast-forward three hours.  The yard work was done and the kiddo was milling about the house somewhere.  I’d moved on from trying to make huge parenting leaps and worrying about raising a responsible human to decorating the house for May--the Indy 500.  I knew I was carrying too much in my arms when I gathered the box of ornaments destined for the tree in the foyer, but I thought I could handle it.  Until I stumbled over the stupid gate we keep up in the hall to help corral our four small terriers.  So down they went.  The entire box.  My special order miniature checkered flags I waited half a year to receive hit the hardwood with gusto, shattering into a million pieces while their black and white counterparts, miniature glass balls that won't come around again until December, joined the party.  As I knelt in the floor of my entryway and sucked in enough air to stave off crying, I felt a hand on my shoulder.

“I didn't mean to be such a brat about my chores. I shouldn’t have put it off.  I’m not mad at you.  I’m mad at me and I’m really sorry.  And I’m sorry about your ornaments,” my kiddo added, patting my back just like I’d done for him so many times in the past fifteen years.  “You didn’t mean to drop them.  Right?” he added softly.

“Right, sweetie.  This was an accident,” I laughed.  “Apology accepted, by the way,” I added.  “Now will you please go get me the broom and dustpan?”


Monday, May 2, 2016

We The People...

Tomorrow’s the day so let me ask you…  Do you plan to vote?  It’s the first thing on my list in the morning and I’m grateful that I live in a country where I can vote in a clean, safe place of my own free will.  I’m deeply indebted to my ancestors who fought and sacrificed of themselves so I could have such freedoms.  Yet I’m also saddened by the fact that we live in a society where everyone feels entitled to their opinion yet so many seem to do so little to earn it.  Let me explain…

When you do a bit of homework and go to the polls to vote, be it for President or city councilman, I believe you earn the right to have an opinion about how things are going in your neck of the woods.  Take me for example.  I’m loud and outspoken and if you ask me about a given topic, it’s highly likely I’ll have an opinion on the matter.  But I’ll also be the first to tell you that I vote.  Why?  Because I know my vote is my voice.  You won’t ever hear me say one of the more common excuses I hear such as “why bother” or “it doesn’t matter, they’re all crooked anyway,” or the famous “I don’t have time.”  And don’t even get me started on the “I haven’t been paying attention, I don’t care or I don’t even know who is running” crowd.  Seriously, people?  Are you living under a rock?

Do you want your voice to be heard?  Study the issues and Vote.  Do you want to put some meat behind that opinion of yours?  Study the issues and Vote.  Voting is too important for lame excuses.  Whether you fully understand the implications or not, our beloved country is struggling with HUGE problems that affect you.  Which means the bottom line is simple…