11/14/17 responsibilities…

When the kids were all out of high school I was so glad to be getting past one responsibility. A few years ago, I had kids in college and high school and kids dating, and getting jobs and getting cars and talking about moving out. It was a lot for me to keep track of. In high school, it is the students responsibility to get the work done, but the parents have to go to the conferences if there is a problem. So… I always felt responsible and spent a lot of time asking, do you have any projects that are due, any reports, anything that you need from me? I also needed go be ready to drive them to events at school and with their friends. We had added on so many new areas that needed watched over and hadn’t taken any away. I was in overload. When Beth graduated, so many of my responsibilities left.
When we were at church the weekend after graduation they were talking about the summer retreat for the high school kids. I started thinking, did I sign Beth up? Does she have that weekend free? Then I realized, she is out of high school and won’t be going to this event. I was so relieved. It is like when the kids were toddlers and I would see a diaper commercial and panic, when did I buy diapers last, should we go tonight, then I would realize that my kids were past diapers, and a whole wave of relief washed over me, like there is something going on in the world and I was not responsible for it.
The kids did handle their responsibilities, and there was a light at the end of the tunnel, the date for graduation had been set, so I knew that responsibility from all of the high school events would be over soon. That helped, the hope of a better tomorrow. When the kids were little I was in a share group at church, it really helped to hear each week what the other parents were in the middle of at their house. Now that the kids are older, they are handling their own responsibilities and it is so nice to be able to watch them grow as adults.
What do you do when you have too many things going on at the same time?

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11/9/17 writing and getting out of high school…

 I need to write more often. Maggie and I went for a walk in the woods, William and I met with the school counselor, Maggie and I went to a demonstration on carving arrowheads out of wood, the continuing saga of Beth’s Social Security card, the ferrets new hiding place for the cat food, the new clothes washer and the laundromat, the Minecraft update… …there is probably more but it is 11:12 at night and I am a morning person so this is all I can think of.
Beth has looked so happy since she got out of high school. Still young but standing up a little straighter after graduation. She looked like a weigh had been lifted off of her shoulders too. She worries a lot about things like I do. She can get an A minus on a test and worry about what it will do too her grades. She used to come home in grade school and say, mommy, I was so worried about my spelling test that we took in the morning that I couldn’t play at recess. She had known the words so well that she had them memorized by Wednesday of that week. We would then go over them on Friday morning and she would get an A. But she still worried. She still looked worried when she got home from school, knowing that she had passed. That is not to say that she got a lot of good grades, she really did know the work, but in kindergarten she was asked to be in the gifted group. Beth asked the other kids who were in it what it was like. They told her that it was different learning and puzzles and all that they did. She asked if it was after school, they said no that it was during free play time. So Beth decided that it was an extra class and refused to go. So all through school, Beth always threw away some of her work to keep her grades low so that she didn’t get put into the gifted program. Sometimes she threw away too many assignments and ended up in summer school. I told her to quit throwing her assignments away, she said no, and that she knew all of the work and shouldn’t have to go to summer school. She still had to go because her grades were so low. Now that she is out of high school, summer school is over.

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10/31/17 Prom dresses…

Another lost post.
Beth, Maggie and I went out last weekend to get Beth’s graduation dress. She found at least ten dresses to try on. I should have decided before we left the house what was acceptable in a dress for her. One time I did this right. Beth had her final choices on that previous shopping trip. I decided which ones covered her correctly and told her that they made her look older, looking like I wasn’t sure if they would be OK. She chose one of them and left behind the unacceptable ones that didn’t cover enough of her. She was so happy. This shopping trip didn’t go like that this time. She put on a red dress that made her look very mature and didn’t cover her well enough. I made the mistake of saying that it made her look a lot older. It was instantly the favorite. She took a couple of selfies and was ready to go. Looking at the selfies and couldn’t believe what I had done. How could I let my daughter go to her high school graduation in a dress that didn’t cover her at all or at least not very well? Beth is older but still needs a lot of direction in picking clothes. I took a quick look at the prom pictures …this was all before we had paid for the dress…all of the prom dresses were more modest even though a lot of the girls wore strapless dresses. I decided to change my mind and asked Beth to try it on again telling her of my thoughts of it not being an appropriate dress, and saying that I had made a mistake. She was so sad. She tried it on and it was not a good choice. We put it back on the rack and left. Beth was upset, I felt so bad that I had changed my mind, I want my word to them to mean something, something that they can count on, but sometimes more time is needed.
Beth was very upset in the car on the way to the next store. She didn’t understand. She said that clothes didn’t matter. I had just heard a good saying about clothes, but can’t remember where I heard it or I would give them credit. It said that when a girl wears revealing clothes it is like rolling around in manure. It will get you noticed, but only by pigs. I told the new saying to Maggie and Beth, Beth laughed after a second and said with some surprise that that was actually quite funny. She felt better. A saying that I used a lot when they were little and wanted clothes that were cut too low, was .. “if you show everything you have to everyone in the world, how can you be special for your husband”. That kept them covered for years. In the next store we found at least fifteen dresses to try on. Beth found two that she liked and I liked too and there had been a Cat in the Hat pajamas mixed in with the dresses and she liked it too. She said that she wanted all three and would pay me back for the other two. I said yes to the three appropriate and covering items that made both of us happy. What a relief. I’m so glad that the second store had a lot of good choices. What a relief. That was the last shopping trip for a high school event for my kids. I’m so glad that we are moving into the next phase. We have had a lot of good times, but it will be good to move on.

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8/25/17 Beth’s car and finishing things…

Beth’s car needed break lines and pads and routers. I asked them to do the break lines and we would wait a week to do the brakes. Grandma took Beth to school, and I picked her up. Beth and I went over after school to get the car.
Beth has a lot going on but plays a lot and doesn’t finish anything. Now that she has graduated she needs to complete some things. She needs to get her car fixed and figure out which department of college she wants to be in. She needs to get letters of reference from her high school teachers. She is starting to frustrate me. School is starting soon and she doesn’t have anything done. So today I tried to figure out what means something to Beth. When I ask her to do things, it has no value to her, its things that I want done, she will only do things if she is finding value in it. She loves her car and needs gas money. She doesn’t work enough hours to buy gas. So I asked her, if she will give her list of accomplishments to three teachers I will give her a gas card. The teachers can take the list of her accomplishments and write letters of recommendation. This way the teachers don’t need to remember what each student was good at, the student provides the list. The teachers do this at her school for all of the students, then all of the students can have letters. The gas card needs to be something that I can afford so each gas card will have five dollars on it. She texted me right back that she has emailed the list to the teachers. I hope this works.

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12/30/16 work and scheduling classes…

William has been at work for a while. He seems happy. He isn’t tired from all of the physical labor that he has to do all day.
Maggie is still in college. This is her first semester as only a college student. I am hoping that she does well. She does like school, but she has not scheduled classes for next semester and it worries me. If she would schedule her classes then she could be sure that she was able to get into the classes that she needs and also I would known how much I owed the school. They started scheduling last month and Maggie just isn’t ready to schedule. Maggie does things when she is ready to do them. I have decided to quit asking her about scheduling the classes. Talking about it is just frustrating both of us. After this semester, Maggie will be a Junior.
She has made a friend in one of her classes. The girl is exactly like Beth and has the same name as me. Maggie says that it is easy to be her friend because she is so much like Beth. Her friend was going home to die her hair yesterday. Maggie already knew the right questions to ask her about dying her hair because Beth dyes her hair.

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12/9/16 paperwork, peanut butter and clickers…

William didn’t fill out the paperwork from his interview last night. William was going to look it over and sign all of it today. He read half of the employee manual but didn’t fill out any of the forms. There is a tax form and an attendance form. And others. I think that he is panicking. He has been home for a long time. I told him tonight that they want the forms in tomorrow so he must complete them tonight. He came downstairs about a half hour later asking what would happen after the forms were turned in. I said that they would call him and give him a start date and a rate of pay. He didn’t look like he felt any better. So a little while later I went upstairs and asked him if after his first full day of work could we stop at Arbie’s on the way home and get him the sandwich that he likes and the fries and pop too. He looked like this was a good idea. Once he gets in and sees all of the guys his own age and all of the tools and all of the machines, I think that he will love it..
Beth called home after school today. She stays late for a club and they used to bring in pizza for the kids but they stopped last week. She came home last week saying that she was going to take a snack next week, which is now this week. She forgot the snack and called home to see if I would bring her and her friend something. I went over with peanut butter sandwiches.There are not many foods that Beth will eat.
Last night Maggie and I went and got her a new clicker for school. Instead of the students raising their hands when the teacher asks a question, they click their answer. Then everyone can get credit. Maggie’s clicker had died. When she got home, Maggie needed to go into the computer and link the new clicker to her name.

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12/6/16 working and school…

No one called for an interview with William today. The maintenance company that works on our house has been playing ads on the radio. They need workers, electricians, plumbers, and everything else and they are willing to train. I called today but it was after five and they are gone. I will call tomorrow and get the time the they start and where they meet. Since William doesn’t drive I would need to drop him off and pick him up every day.
Beth didn’t feel good this morning. Not bad enough to stay home, but bad enough to slow her down. She had Alternative Energy club tonight. She didn’t call to have me get her early, so she must have felt good enough to stay. The boy that she likes is in AE too, so that helps.

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11/21/16 jackets, pick-up times and the cat…

We are looking for a jacket for Maggie. She has a jacket from last year but the zipper does not work all of the time. Maggie is tough on her zippers. Her jackets are in good shape but the zippers wear out. I save her jackets, one day I will learn to sew and replace her zippers.The winter jackets are just starting to come out. William has three jackets, he has stopped growing at 6′ 2″, and Beth had a jacket from last year. If this winter is bad, I want to make sure that the kids have warm jackets. 

I went to pick Maggie up at school tonight. She had said to pick her up at seven. She didn’t come out of the building. I texted her email to say that I was there, she won’t carry her cell phone. No answer. At seven thirty I texted home to Beth to see if she had called. No answer from Beth. I don’t want to panic too early, but if she is hurt or needs me, I don’t want to wait, but its not like Maggie to be this late. At twenty after I parked the car and headed into the building. I decided that if she was in there making bracelets on her loom I would take it. I found Maggie at her normal computer doing chemistry and watching a movie. My kids do there homework with a movie on or music playing, I can’t do that. She was surprised to see me. She thought that we had set a time of nine o’clock. I said OK and went home. We live sort of close to the university.
When I picked her up later I suggested that she write down the time. Maybe putting it in her planner. She said that that wouldn’t work because she would need to get it out of her backpack and put it back in each morning. She is not a morning person and doesn’t want all of that commotion in the morning. I suggested she could write the time on one piece of paper and keep it in her pocket. Each night scribbling out the time and writing a new one each day. She said no. She would take a piece of paper and cut it into little squares and keep all of the blank squares in her jacket pocket. Each day pulling out a different paper and writing the pick up time on on. We will see how it works. 
When we got home our cat was waiting for us. She has been looking tired lately. Maggie picked her up and held her. Mandy likes to have someone with her all of the time. She likes to be held if we are standing up, but as soon as we sit down, she runs off.

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11/20/16 senior projects, field trips and the creek…

Beth’s class is picking senior projects. They were introduced today. The choices were an invention to keep an air compressor quiet, something to go around a robot or something to do with the little laser lights, making a game out of it. They haven’t chosen yet but Beth likes the lasers the best. They need to pick teams too to do the projects. Her class is going to Chicago in two weeks to see a manufacturing museum and to a manufacturing trade show. She is taking one outfit and some snacks and two teddy bears, one for her friend and one for her. She is still so young, and older. She is going out of town with her class, but chooses which teddy bears to take with them. She needed a planner for school. I never thought I would hear her say that. She wants to keep track of all of her assignments and be in all of these clubs. She likes her classes and will start reading Beowulf this week. We went to the car show yesterday.
Maggie had Environmental Science class today. They went out to the creek today to take samples and to get used to the waders and the nets. Maggie has used waders and nets in high school but to a lot of the class this is all new. They all put on waders and went into the creek to look for crayfish which live in shallow water. Maggie found a spot that looked shallow so she stepped in and it was really a big hole. She was away from the other students so she had to get out herself. Se finally pulled her feet out of this mud but she swayed and got a lot of water in her waders. She had to get out of the hole without falling into the water or loosing the net. She used the net as a walking stick to get out. The kids caught some crayfish and threw them back. They were just practicing with the nets and waders. Maggie came home so happy. She loves going to the creek to collect samples. She had wet shoes and socks and pants. Maggie went to her next class and then I picked her up at the bus drop off with no shoes and socks. 

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11/19/16 getting school books for Maggie…

When Maggie started college this semester, we had some of trouble getting her books. We bought one of Maggie’s books online. That sentence sounds so simple. I guess that if everything we did didn’t come with a story, I wouldn’t have anything to write about. Maggie needed a science book. The teacher told them that they could get it online. On all of the other books Maggie wanted an actual book, but on this one she said that an online one was OK. When she went online I asked Maggie if she was sure that this was the correct book. Remember that now that she is in college, I am not getting any information from the high school teachers. She said that she was not sure. Maggie does have a lot of science due this week and needed the book. Maggie decided to go to class on Tuesday and ask the teacher which book she needed. I said great, but please see if she has office hours that day so if you are still confused after you talk in class you can go to her office and she can pull up the book on her computer and you will know which one we should buy when you get home. 
Maggie comes home and she looks up the book. I asked her if it was the correct book…expecting her to say, yes the teacher confirmed it…but she said…maybe, I should email the teacher. She sent a screen print of the book that she thought was correct to the teacher and started doing math. We had dinner and Maggie did more math. Maggie has homework due this week and has no book and doesn’t know which one to buy and it is getting late. Maybe the teacher didn’t have office hours today so that they couldn’t look up the book. It is so frustrating when they are older and you want to help them, but can only offer suggestions.

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