Saturday, September 5, 2009

To all you parents out there...

If you ever question if you're doing a good job, I'd like to offer a story with a word of encouragement.

I didn't witness this event first hand, but it was all the talk at school last Monday. A week ago Friday night was the first football game of the season. Millard North vs. Millard West is one of the biggest games of the season, so I'm sure the stands were packed. At half time, just as the dance team was taking their spot on the field, a murmur began to run through the crowd: there was a streaker running on the track!

According to my teacher friend Jen, who was at the game with her 6-year old daughter and friend, the young man ran about half way around the track, realized that he really couldn't go much farther without getting caught, did a couple of hip pumps, hopped the fenced (which all the guys think was incredibly brave and/or stupid) and then promptly got tackled by a couple of school employees.

The kicker in all this story: the young man was an 8th grader! Apparently he was dared with $200 (rumors disagree if the money was from classmates or an uncle) to do the deed, but I'm sure the ticket/fine he got was more than that.

Now for my encouragement: if you're having one of those days with your kids, think to yourself, "Yes, he/she may seem ornery/out of control/(add your own adjective here) but what are the odds he/she will ever do something that stupid?" Not high, I guarantee you.

So to all you parents out there, thanks for the job you do. In my days spent with high school students, I can think of some students who drive me crazy, but the vast majority are good kids. Yours will be, too...I'm sure of it :)

That was easy!

Today we picked up our new (at least new to us...thanks Kate and Todd!) patio table. We flipped it upside down, tied it to the Yakama rack, and drove it home. That really should be the subject of another post: the items we've hauled on top of Scott's 1993 Honda Civic. The list includes building materials for the deck, patio chairs, patio tables...oh, and yes, of course, bikes :) With a Yakama rack, the possibilities are endless.

But I digress...

Putting out the new table and chairs presented another challenge: what to do with the old ones. I wasn't about to pretend that someone would buy them from me. I had paid $5 for the table at a yard sale and the chairs were still in my garage after all my female roommates moved out, even though I know I was not the one to purchase them (Thank you to Jane Thorson, I believe, for them. Apparently she had no need for cheap plastic deck chairs on her globetrotting adventures). Neither was in good shape. The table top was held to the base with zip ties, and the chairs glossy finish had been baked off in the sun, so one always wondered if they were going to get white powder on their clothes from sitting in the chairs. Not exactly high quality items that I have here.

Nor did I want to go to the trouble of taking pictures and uploading them to Craig's list to give them away. Scott offered to cut them up with the electric saw (Boys, they just can't resist destroying things), so I could slowly get rid of them in the trash, but before we went to that effort, I had one other idea.

I set them on the strip of lawn by the curb, made to "Free" signs from brown paper grocery bags, and hoped for the best. I'm not exaggerating when I say that not more than 45 minutes later, I looked out the front window to see an SUV stopped in front of our house, with a man and woman trying to figure out how to wedge the table and chairs in. They accomplished their goal, and I accomplished mine. I had no idea it would be that easy!