Posts Tagged ‘decisions’

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She Did It!

May 15, 2014
T1 Accepts!

T1 Accepts!

After months of applying, testing, writing, creating a stand-out project on “Fewtering”, interviewing in garb and with Crookshanks in tow, the long-awaited letter arrived last Saturday. Ear-splitting squeals of delight rang out.

T1 has been accepted to an alternative, fast-paced, duel-enrollment academically challenging high school program. Words can’t even begin to describe how proud we are.

As a family, because the Chief got home on Mother’s Day, we discussed this honor and achievement and all the pros and cons of accepting enrollment into the program.

The Chief was never sold on the program. We’ve heard so many different things and the only thing we know is that there is no middle ground–either your child thrives under the pressure or they end up dropping out with ulcers; either your child can handle both the academic rigors and can have extra curricular activities or they struggle under hours of homework and give up all semblance of a social life.

What kind of student would T1 be? Academically grade-wise she is the Chief, a future engineer in the making. But let’s be honest, who are we kidding? She is my emotional clone. Does she have the skills to get herself organized and not crack? I had those skills because we learned to write at earlier ages (it has taken her 7th and 8th grade English teachers to get her to a competency I’m please with and the rest were useless!) and we knew how to multitask because we took 7 classes a day … block scheduling gives more instruction time and less homework so children today have no idea how to handle homework and multiple projects.

If she survives the program she could begin college as a sophomore. But would she have time to participate in an amazing engineering internship at a nearby facility … real-world experience cannot be taught in the classroom and can be priceless for her future career… ?

So the Chief asked her, “Who chose to apply?” And her answer was, “Me.” We didn’t push her, and in fact even then we were hesitant but we said, “You can’t get in if you don’t apply. We’ll make the decision when the time comes.”

I forgot my tunes for my training run on Monday, so I spent the time in prayer. I had a lot to think about. I had announced her letter to the world and so the grandparents all called. I talked a long time to my mother about our concerns. And she agreed with me.

On Monday I thought about that. I thought about living in fear. My mother is a very fearful person. And let’s just say that when my mother told me she was afraid of big dogs I said, “Well then, I’m going to go out and find the biggest German shepherd I can.” (And that’s how we got Chewbacca the Mutt.) I am concerned for T1, afraid she will fail and have ulcers. Heck I’m afraid she’s going to never leave home and become a hoarder too.

Am I becoming my mother and trying to tell T1 what to do based on my fears?

As I ran (and I hate running) I thought, “If she never tries then she’s failed already. And if I don’t trust God, then I’ve failed her. Because even if she does struggle and maybe even fail, I still need to trust that God has a purpose for even that struggle or failure … and she needs to find the purpose God has planned for her. For her life.”

I need to show her my trust, not my fear.

The Chief spoke with her and they made a deal: there is nothing to say she couldn’t try it for a year and if the struggle is too much, no harm no foul if she drops back into the advance course program at her base school. But she has to give the whole year a shot, no dropping out early.

We asked her to think long and hard, and to pray for guidance, and to tell us on Wednesday her decision.

Today I dropped off her acceptance for enrollment letter. Hey, I have trust issues and well, I don’t trust snail mail to get it in my the deadline of the 16th.

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Sometimes It Is Not Fun Being an Adult

January 12, 2014

When the Chief asked me what I wanted for Christmas I said, “I was thinking about that. Could we combine Christmas with our anniversary, not get each other anything, and go to this bed-and-breakfast that I’ve been dying to go to and have been watching its blog like a hawk?”

The Chief was game and I was given the go ahead to look for a sitter for the girls.

Then the Chief gave me for Christmas a pair of earrings we had scoped out at an antique shop downtown. Now I did get him to narrow down how much he spent and I don’t think that he paid too much for them. I would like them appraised to see if the stones are real but the earrings themselves are 14k gold.

So our anniversary came and went and so did some weird weather. It is fortuitous that we did not go on our actual anniversary because of the weather. (The next day was a snow day and that could have been disastrous.)

We were planning on going tomorrow. But it has been nagging at me. The cost. The cost of one night. I know, I know it is the experience of staying in a historic building, having cocktail hour, a luxury bath, gas fire-place, amazing food in the morning, time alone, just the two of us… I’m worth it. He’s worth it (though I’m not so sure he’d enjoy it as much as I would). 18 years is a pretty good accomplishment.

But we have a family cruise to Hawaii this summer. I’m going to want to do as many excursions as possible. The amount we would have spent in the accommodation, taxes and for a sitter for the night could pay for 1 or 2 excursions for a family of 4 depending on what we choose to do.

I was talking to the father of the sitter, letting him know we’d tell her tonight if we still needed her. “Yeah, we usually end up taking the kids with us because there will be a time when it’s just us.” I said, “We’re going on this trip but it’s not like we’ll have privacy.” He laughed, “Sure you will. Just send them to the beach.” T1, who will be sharing a cabin with other cousins, piped in, “Or just send T2 to our cabin!”

It is not just that. In recent days I looked around at our more than adequate home and started listing that I’d still really like–our bathroom redone and we truly need to admit we need a king size bed if we’re ever going to get decent sleep any time soon. This could mean a whole new bedroom set (ours is 18 years old now). And he has a list of his own–new kitchen floor, new front door, etc. None of this will be inexpensive. We just got a new hot water heater, new washer & dryer, and replaced the french doors. Not cheap at all. Those three were definite needs and not the wants of a new bathroom sink.

And the kicker? The Chief and I just had physicals. Our GP is an old friend–I’m talking I’ve known him since 9th grade. He went in to see the Chief and said, “Not that your wife told me to say anything to you, but you don’t seem too particularly thrilled with your employment situation. What’s it going to take for you to stop sailing?”

“For my wife and children to agree to live on half my salary.”

Don’t get me wrong, the Chief is pretty selfless and doesn’t make us feel like a burden. If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you know that it is me that refers to myself as spoiled and blessed that I don’t have to work. I’ve struggled with that and I’ve panicked about that–I can be immobilized by the question of “what do you want to be when you grow up?” But the Chief has never made me feel like he resents us. He has expressed displeasure when he’s felt unappreciated but he’s right. The girls especially have had moments of thoughtless unappreciation.

I just spent the month of November being thankful and December is about serving, giving, and counting those blessings all over again. If the Chief is one of my top blessings, is it right for me to ask him to take me to what boils down to as an extravagance in light of all the home improvements I just complained about and the already planned expensive Hawaiian trip .. for “our anniversary”? Is it appreciative to ask him to spend money of something he might not enjoy as much as me?

Okay, just to be balanced, if the Chief asked me to spend our anniversary at a woodworking show, you better believed I’d roll my eyes, groan, make sure there was a nice hotel and restaurant involved before I’d agree to go with him. (And yes, I’ve spent my birthday at a woodworking show with him but it was followed by a Trace Atkins & Bill Engvall concert–seemed like a reasonable exchange!) The Chief agreed to the B-n-B idea without asking for something for him.

I wanted the Chief to step in and say, “Let’s save the money for Hawaii.” But he wouldn’t. He felt like he was in between a rock and a hard place. He listened to what I had to say. If he gave his thumbs up, I’d enjoy it–I’d have a blast. But I’d probably feel the guilt later when I had another sleepless night or complained again about or mismatched medicine cabinets. Or had even more guilt as we signed up for our excursions. Would it be worth it.

The Chief came up with the only grown-up solution. “If you’re going to feel guilty, let’s not go and go shopping for a king size bed this week.”

He’s a good guy, that Chief of mine.

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Please Be Mindful…

February 27, 2012

… sometimes well-intentioned advice can be very insensitive.

The cause of my rant today is actually because of a stranger. Last summer, DH and I would walk Cassie as much as possible. Many in our neighborhood came out to see her and ask how she was doing. They would also ask how the girls were handling the situation. Cassie was an ambassador to the end for greyhound retirement/rescue, whatever you want to call it. One gentlemen we enjoyed seeing because he is a woodworker like DH. He was familiar with greyhounds through a friend. With the gorgeous weather today this gentleman was out so I thought I’d take Crook and Heddie to meet him. He first asked if we had gone with a local group and I said no, it worked out that another group had the greys we wanted. Then he said to me, “I told my friend about you and he was very concerned that you may not have had all the information to make the right decision–there is so much they can do for them.”

I wasn’t upset with the neighbor. I was upset with the other greyhound owner. It is a very personal decision and yes, we had all the information available to us (from a vet that promotes and supports at least one of the local groups). We made the best decision for OUR greyhound and OUR family.

But don’t we all do it? The unsolicited parenting or health advice. We’re all perfect parents until we have children. Or we have a friend who has that exact same condition so we feel qualified to tell you exactly what you should be doing. I am so guilty of this. (I swear by cinnamon and chromium, btw.) Maybe we should be spending more time just listening rather than speaking, unless actually asked for our advice. And even then, if the experts cannot agree or see a condition in the same light, take it all with a grain of salt and respect the decisions and opinion of your friends.

We should keep quiet especially if we are perfect strangers or have no personal experience (knowing someone who has a condition or is going through a similar situation really does NOT count). I was having a private conversation in a library and was asked how I was progressing with the PsA (btw, with all the drug information pamphlets I get on a daily basis now I have learned the correct abbreviation is PsA … I have no idea what disease is PA) and a total stranger felt compelled to give me advice on what supplements I should be taking for arthritis. My rhuematologist believes in supplements–just not for PsA–so I’ll continue following my doctor, thank you very much.

No two people are the same and no two dogs are the same. I’m sure this other greyhound owner would be horrified to know we keep our greys in the basement, even though the whole family spends all of our time down there except to eat and sleep. And we have managed to be paired with the three most oddest duck-dogs out there that seem to be perfectly content to sleep in a room separate from the family. That’s one of the first things I tell people: our greys have generally been the exception and not typical greys.

I know the saying is “walk a mile in my shoes” but even then, they’re your feet and you still won’t experience the exact same thing… ever. I hope I think twice about offering unsolicited advice. Now I have to go apologize to a friend…

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