Military Dance

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-30-2007
Military Dance
27
Tue, 10-01-2013 - 1:51pm

I got a call from our Youth Pastor and a young boy in our youth group in the 9th grade age 15 in ROTC wants to invite my daughter whom will turn 13 in December to the Military Ball that will take place in late March at that time there will be 2 years age gap and 2 grades gap, but he wants to invite her just as friends because they hang out in the youth group at church totally innocent and I trust him. I issue is SHE IS IN MIDDLE SCHOOL!  I am crazy. I know most 9th graders enter the 9th grade at age 14 and my daughter would be 13, but I feel she would feel ackward with teens in high school.  She wouldn't know anyone other then the boy she is going with. Her Dad said NO but its the Military Ball and she looks so much older thats why the young boy was going to ask her because he thought she was 14 and in the 8th grade.  Ok tell me what you think honestly but be nice................

Confused Undecided

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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2009
Sat, 10-12-2013 - 6:01pm
That $11,000 budget per couple was for all five summer vacations 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and Still to come 2014 out through California, Oregon, Washington, western Canada, with the 90 days spread out between those five summers. Usually only two motel rooms, not three, at low price inns. Yes this last one is more expensive than the others as it is longer in miles and time, with more costly tickets to the sights and activities. Thanks for the heads up on bugs and sunscreen. We've encountered those elsewhere. Not fun!!! But, the togetherness of family has been fabulous!!!
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2009
Sat, 10-12-2013 - 11:13am

Well, have fun and don't forget the sunscreen and bug spray. That's an expensive trip.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2009
Fri, 10-11-2013 - 8:50pm

Our family vacations resemble the old Norman Rockwall post magazine cover spilt page illustration of the family leaving home looking all excited and below that a depiction of the family returning home bushed and worn out. LOL

The beginning and the tail end of our trips are usually marathons of driving with a couple of days of hard driving. Some of the places require more distance, like getting to and from Rushmore is about a three day process, but we did lots of side trips like, Custards Last Stand, Devils pile, Roosevelt National Park, Wounded Knee. Isle Royal is another one of those long slog drive situations, but the hubby and I are willing to take one for the team. They do let us live with them, you know. LOL

Also, this is going to be the last summer that the couples will have lots of freedom from full time jobs with serious demands and we will soon be into those prime years when we lie to the grandkids by saying things like. “Oh yes, WDW is grandpa and my favorite place to go on vacation.” And, “Yes, my favorite restaurant is Chuck E. Cheese too.” LOL Strangely, I think both lies are going to be true and am looking forward to a second tour of both.

So far, traveling has not been that difficult with the brothers, but this time I think will be more challenging because they will be 2 and 3½ with the bun in the oven being about 8 months when we go in July. Longer days up north. And yeah, those are some long hauls but lots to see out the windows. The scenery along the run from Nova Scotia to Viagra Falls was spectacular and the things to see were also wonderful.

The vehicles are both less than five years old, but that does remind me of the story of one of my uncles back in the late fifties. His young family was out in the middle of nowhere when they blew a rod and needed another car. The Chevy people said no to financing a car for him, the Dodge and Ford people said no also. But the Ford guy said, “Go talk to the Edsel dealership folks. Ugly, but it has the same engine and drive train as my Fords. They will finance it for anybody, so long as they have a pulse. You do have a pulse?” Sure enough they rolled out in a new Edsel with a payment book in hand.

A year or so ago, I read a book by a lady and her hubby who took a year off to see America by motor home and they had certain themes like seeing all the national parks, a baseball game at as many major league ballparks as possible, etcetera. They also spent about $80K doing it.

Because we stay at the better hotels like Motel 6 and Budget Inn, eat breakfast out of a box, lunch out of a ice chest, with dinners at the finer restaurants, like Little Caesars, Papa Johns, Costco, or a buffet house, our total budget is going to top out at about $11,000 for each of the three couples for all five trips and 90 some days on the road. Our counterpart in-laws spend a bit more when they come with us, as they are rich. LOL They do slum with us, but they also do splurge a little bit, like spending a night on the Grand Canyon rim at that old expensive hotel and likewise in Yellowstone and Yosemite. Those lesser quality inns run about $500 per night. I don’t think I could sleep in a place that expensive. LOL

Our trips have been about seeing lots of historical sights and presidential libraries, natural beauty, some major Islands like Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, Fort Jefferson off of Key West, Catalina, Isle Royal, observation decks like the arch, Empire State Building, CN tower, old Sears building, Stratosphere, Paris Paris Eifel Tower, Space Needle, Calgary Tower, and a few quirky things like San Simeon, Winchester house, Alcatraz Island, the Howard Hughes Spruce Goose plane, Lake Geneva in Wisconsin, Dutch themed Solvang California and Bavarian themed Leavenworth Washington.

As the lady in the book said, I think you could spend decades traviling around America without traveling the same roads and seeing different things..

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2009
Mon, 10-07-2013 - 1:45pm

Kimmy, you realise that Lake Louise is in Alberta, not B.C.?  It is not as short drive from Seattle to Lake Louise, which is not far from Calgary.  I have done it. You have to cross the Rockies, best done in daylight. 

Why not stay in B.C ? Van has to be one of the most beautiful cities in the Westerm world and I say that from experience. I have seen my share of cities. There is also Victoria and Vancouver Island.

And Thunder Bay? I first thought you do not mean Thunder Bay, Ontario but another town called that  in the US. Thunder Bay is not your typical tourist stop.  And then I realised you did. Lake Louise to Thunder Bay..not a trip I would do in a car with small kids! 

Doubling back from Lake Louise and heading to Michigan via the US route?  I hope you have scheduled enough time for this trip,  have a reliable van and that the trip is planned for mid-summer.  Bring lots of bug repellant. The Black Flies and mosquittoes are legend.

By the way, there are only 10 provinces in Canada.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Mon, 10-07-2013 - 11:20am

I like the way that those little hats are called "fascinators."  I also find it interesting that when you see pics of the English society weddings where the men wear morning suits or even when they are in the wedding party, it's not like it is here in the US with matching tuxes--each guy apparently owns his own suit and wears whatever vest & tie that he has at home.  Of course the suits are all traditional black pinstripes.  

You guys are very brave to do all that traveling with little kids, but I guess the adults still outnumber the kids so you can take turns taking care of the babies.  We went to WDW a few times with the grandparents when my kids were little and that certainly made it much easier.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2009
Mon, 10-07-2013 - 1:33am

To any of you listening in to us two old grannies swapping stories, we’re just sharing things we have in common and laughing about things that have occurred and reminiscing about the old days and good times past and future.

Yes, a very very very full Suburban that belongs to the parents of our oldest SIL with lots of junk tied on the roof rack. Both sets of the SILs' parents are going to drive out in our Explorer and meet us a week later at Hurst’s Castle at San Simian after they spend a night on the south rim of Grand Canyon and make a run through Death Valley. And then a run through, Yosemite, San Francisco, the Redwoods, Oregon Coast, Howard Hughes’ “Spruce goose,” Columbia River Gorge, Seattle, British Columbia, Lake Louise, where they are going to leave for home via a night at Yellowstone, while we trek over to a day trip out to “Isle Royale” from Thunder Bay and then home. This last trip will be a bit of a budget buster because it is longer with more expensive stops, but manageable.

This is what happened last summer when they drove up an met us for a trip out to Martha’s vineyard and then up through New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Nova scotia through Canada to Viagra falls and then they split for home with a day at Lincoln’s Library and the arch in st. louis, while we went on over to Ford’s library, Wilson building in Chicago, and over to Lake Geneva before heading south to home. Busy but fun. The in-laws are not into the libraries and museums.

North Dakota is a very frequent state to be missed. We swung up there to see Theodor Roosevelt National Park somewhat in route to American Graffiti (Rushmore), as the token family Indian (Butch) jokingly calls it. Our token Indian liked BIG HEADS also.

Mid-teens is about where the kids lost interest in Disney World. We may not have made the last trip through there at 15 and 16 except the guys had never been. Fun trip.

Love the movie Groundhog Day!

After reading “The last Brother” about the life of Teddy Kennedy, which is a bit of a hit piece, you come away being grateful you were not born a child of Joe and Rose Kennedy. LOL As you read it you also kind of realize that we are all victims—read that kindly as the product—of our family and youth and times. Our family doesn’t intend to crowd more generations into a century than other; we’re just accident prone. LOL Mom and Dad did not plan to start a family at the Lone Star Drive-in. (I doubt the actual “deed” occurred there.) Daughter and I were each planning to start a family about five years after the weddings, but . . . . Oopse.

When it comes to those first jobs (of any type) the kids learn some very very valuable lessons about work and life. Not only does work SUCK (LOL), but everything and more that you described can only be learned by working a job. Any job is better than the kid not learning these things.

Our OBgyn tells stories from the early days about pulling babies out of the hat that were the “wrong” sex according to the older sonograms, not as likely with the newer ones, but still occurs. LOL And the couple or grandparents asking, “How can this be?” LOL As a doctor once said, “In medicine there are no absolutes or guarantees.’’ That is true of life in general.

Weddings are a personal thing and if a big one is important and they are somewhat able to afford it, why not? Ours were happy with Hawaii, but a big wedding was important to Butchman’s sister.

When it comes to evening things up with the kids. One of their jokes is, “You never get even with your parents!” I’ve heard that elsewhere and I have no clue what it means. LOL Sometimes, one kid needs more than a sibling and I think that’s ok.

Yeah I saw those hats at Will and Kate’s wedding. It was like, bet I can out do your hat. And of course, the queen and her hats. Aretha Franklin’s hat at the first inauguration of Obama. There was coffee table book a few years ago with the title of “Black Women and Their Crowns” that was about the importance of ladies hats in that culture. You see a lot of guys with baseball caps, but I don’t think of them as hatsm even though they are..

Yeah, I have had that same problem with edit.

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Sun, 10-06-2013 - 4:05pm
Btw, (since EDIT) refuses to work for me, re hats. There is a renaissance, of sorts, for hats, especially twee hipster ones, on young men with soul patches that look like dirt on their faces. My biggest complaint about men with hats today, is that they refuse to remove them when indoors. The Duchess of Cambridge has fueled a return of women's hats. Unfortunately, they mostly look like some wayward bird, or perhaps a vehicle for very tiny aliens, had landed upon her. I am hoping this trend has a VERY short half-life, especially here, across the pond.
Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Sun, 10-06-2013 - 3:51pm

That vacation next summer would be a sight to see, Kimmy, if you plan on putting THREE car seats, and 6 adults in one vehicle.  Are you going to be driving a Suburban?

Our last "full family" vacation, was for YDD's 15th B-day, which also happened to be the year she was a HS frosh, and her sis was a senior.  We went to visit Mickey at WWD, per her wish, as many of her previous b-days had been spent. 

Feburary is a cruel month in Chicagoland, and not conducive to birthday parties.  Since her sister's b-day is July 2, and was ALWAYS the occasion of vast quanties of food (she was born on the advent of Taste of Chicago), pool parties, and fireworks (I think she was 4 when she realized all the gaiety was not just because of HER), we decided her sister needed something special for HER day, too.  And not JUST that it's the day Punxsutawney Phil briefly crawls out of his burrow.

We've traveled a lot also.  In the western and central US, I think the only states we've missed were Kansas and North Dakota.  In the northeast, we still have a half dozen of the original 13.  We've also been to Italy, Denmark and Ireland, but only as a couple.  Dh has seen much of Mexico, and some of Canada, on the company dime, and his frequent flier points fueled many of our trips.

Kimmy, I have NO DOUBT that you and dh are excellent parents.  You are obviously well read, contemplative, and informed by your faith.  Your outlook on life was formed, in part, as we all are, by the family that went before you.  Your families had young relationships, and started families young.  Ours didn't.  Dh & I were 28 & 29 when we had our first.  My mother and father were 32 & 38 when they had their first.  Dh's parents were 38 & 46 -- he was their 3rd, and a surprise!  And BOTH sets of my grandparents, who were born in the 1880's and 1890's, were in their middle 20's when they had their FIRST kids--which was unheard of, for the time.   All of these people, but especially the women, had a real streak of independence.

As for working, I have to admit that those early babysitting gigs were a very deliberate form of birth control, and a way to keep idle summer hands very busy.  Daycaring kids for up to 8 hours, while also doing light houseleeping and cooking, is a WHOLE different proposition than watching TV for a couple hours at night, while the kids sleep.  

Our take on "real" jobs was that besides the money, finding a job, and working with a team, is a skill in and of itself, and easier learned the younger you are.   Both kids ended up in supervisory positions in their various jobs, perhaps due, in part, to the skills they learned during those babysitting jobs.  Also, having to adapt your activities to somebody else's schedule teaches effective time managment skills, which really was good for our ADD kids.  Another benefit was that our kids met people in the course of those jobs, and made connections, that they'd never have encountered any other way.  Of course, this view is not universal.  Some of our kids' friends continued babysitting, which got very lucrative as the sitter got older, and some didn't work at all, as their parents believed that school and activities were a more important use of time.

This grandbaby's sex will remain a mystery, because that is what the daddy wants.  My dd is more practical, and would like to have the appropriate clothes and decor, but this is NOT a hill she cares to die on.  And even the best practioners can make mistakes.  When ydd went for her 3-D ultrasound, the tech told us about one couple who had been assured SEVERAL TIMES their child was a girl, and as a result, the bedroom looked like "Barbie threw up in there".  At the occasion of their final, keepsake ultrasound, the child decided to roll and stretch and displayed a very OBVIOUS penis.  When the parents brought their baby BOY back to show (and thank) the tech, they said they barely managed to finish the redo before the occupant arrived. 

Their 2 spare bedrooms are currently fixed as an art studio for dd, and a guest room for when SIL-to-be's parents and brother visit from Cali and Maryland.  The master is quite large, and the furniture they've gotten so far fits easily without crowding.  They plan to finish the basement, and move the guest bedroom down there, but that will take some time (and money), so the "mystery" works on several levels.

As for the wedding, that will be the kids' decision and dime.  We paid for ydd's wedding, but she was just starting out, plus, we'd spent very little on her community college degree.  We paid much more for odd's university degree.  We will give them a nice gift, to use as they wish, but we are literally 3 years away from retirment, and cannot afford to recoup an expense of that magnitude. 

Neither has any student debt.  They both have excellent jobs, newer cars, and their home is fully furnished and decorated, sans the basement.  They are actually selling or dumping most of what's in dd's apartment, except for her kitchenware.  Right now it will be a simple visit to the courthouse.  What happens next year will depend on the baby, the basement, and how much dd works after the birth.   

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2009
Sun, 10-06-2013 - 12:12am

Sabrtooth, I enjoyed reading your novel. Actually though, it was a work of non-fiction written from the heart with justifiable pride in a job of parenting well done. To me, it is vastly more interesting than any novel could be.

My mother and I also loved Erma Bombeck. So did the late news commentator Paul Harvey, if you recall him. These were people who could write well and about interesting things with clarity, humor, and kindness. Their jokes were never cruel or crude. Wish there were more like them.

Obviously, as I already knew, you and DH are also very good parents. Among many things, you have poured your lives into getting your daughters equipped to navigate the world they live in. You taught them the value of money, the cost in labor of acquiring money, the concepts of hard work, deferred gratification, budgeting, and thrift; skills so seldom understood by the youngsters nowadays.

Our four spent four very happy summers pushing lawnmowers, while knocking off duel credits towards HS granulation and that BS. They pushed lawn mowers because they could earn about $14 per hour, rather than the minimum wages of half that amount (with “real jobs” LOL) flipping hamburglers at McDonalds or ticket taking or concession sales at the movie theater. (As Gordon Gecko of the movie Wall Street said, “Greed is good!” LOL) It also gave them flexibility to work those 20 hours per week during mowing season on their own schedule. Together, as well as paying the extra cost of vacationing with us in Florida, youngest SILs parents in Cancun, Mexico at Thanksgiving, and skiing with oldest SILs family the week after Christmas, they placed $40,000 into Wall Street and watched it fall to about $23,000 during the collapse of 2008-2009, which was a lesson of a different type about the uncertainties of life—a good lesson. (‘We was robbed.” LOL) Like most of those who left their money on the table, they have recovered that loss and a bit more—another lesson about hanging in there.

Most folks think the parents are dropping lots of money into these couples. The truth is that each set of parents has invested no more than we would have if they had stayed single, living at home, and attending the local community college and state U, on the same schedule as many of their contemporaries. The cost of their BS degrees, less tax advantages, was about $15,000 each, which hubby and I will finish paying for late next year. Law School is on their own dime and debt. By each working two days a week for $15 per hour, they are on track to have outstanding student debt of about $48,000 each for that JD, or $96,000 per couple. Shockingly, some of their fellow law students are on pace to have student debts for that JD degree above a mere $150,000 to $200,000 each, plus whatever undergrad debt they still have. OUCH!!

By being very frugal with their spending, each couple pays for their share of the summer vacations on our “see America travels,” which will end next summer with us having visited 49 states, Redwoods to New York Island (I guess that is Long Island), Gulf Stream waters to all five Great Lakes, Hawaii, but not Alaska, along with ten of the southern Providences of Oh Canada, Nova Scotia to Vancouver. America is truly a great place to see and visit. GOD truly did shed his grace on thee!!!! And it’s been fun!

Next summer we will visit the birth place, boyhood home, library, and burial site of Richard Nixon out in the old orange groves in Yorba Linda, California. I have read that at the end of a film presentation at the library, President Nixon says something like. “Twenty-five hundred years ago, the philosopher Sophocles said, ‘One cannot tell how splendid the day has been, until the evening.’ In the evening of my life, having stood on great mountains and in very deep valleys, I can tell you that my day has been splendid indeed.” This was a recurring quote of Sophocles in many of his writings to friends and family for decades.

Twenty years ago, I read an article about a professor and a grad student who had studied what happened to a few dozen Valedictorians and Salutatorians after ten years. Surprisingly, they were not is successful as the prof and grad student had expected. Some had married and had families, others dropped out of college to pursue acting or dancing (not at strip clubs, LOL), some had opened business, one was “citizen of the month” at his prison, some had BS degrees but had not gone further, etcetera. Others were very successful and progressing as expected. I thought, well, how did we ever get to the point where getting married, having a family, and being happy having done so is a failure? Who says pursuing acting or dancing is not acceptable? And what is wrong with others doing like Bill Gates and dropping out of Harvard to make a few billion dollars helping idiots like me with windows, word, excel, etcetera? And what’s wrong with Prison? (Oopse, scratch that last question please. LOL) Seriously, the definition of success is personal and different for everybody. There is no one size fits all.

Life is like the Robert Frost poem (no kin to Jack Frost, LOL), The ROAD Not Taken. “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood. And sorry I could not travel both, And still be one traveler, long I stood and looked down the one as far as I could . . . . “ Life has many roads and nobody gets to travel them all—just a few, that’s all.

Speaking of roads to travel? Is this grandbaby going to be a girl or boy? Or is this daughter like ours who chooses to NOT KNOW until the doctor (who knows months ahead) announces it in the delivery room, like it’s a complete surprise to the doctor also? I asked our OBgyn during my annual a few months ago if it was a boy and a girl. Long pause and then with a smile, “Yes, it is!” I think she enjoys torturing the grandparents. LOL

I have an interesting book to recommend to you and your daughter. The title is LET’S ELOPE, The Definitive Guide to Eloping, Destination Weddings, and Other Creative Wedding Options by Scott Shaw and Lynn Beahan from a few years ago. It may be at your local library. It’s a hoot as well as having lots of good points about simplifying your life and reducing your stress by skipping out on some of the insanity of big weddings. If your daughter reads it she may try to shake you down for part of the savings. LOL After Butch’s parents got nailed and were finished with a big AND EXPENSIVE wedding for their only daughter, with overly demanding inlaws, the Butchman says to his parents, “Bet your glad I was a second son and NOT a second daughter.” LOL The older brother just showed up at Cancun married one Thanksgiving. No muss, no fuss.

A friend gave it to me to read a few months ago and it confirmed much of why the guys’ parents, and hubby and I decided to take the wedding on the road to Honolulu. $20,000 provided a very nice ten day vacation for five parents, one grandmother (Butchman’s dad flew in and out for just two days due to work constraints), honeymoons for the two couples, a nice double wedding ceremony on the beach with seating for the parents, flowers, pictures, video, live harp and flute players, and with a lot less stress for everybody. We all actually enjoyed the entire thing—something lots of couples and parents don’t get to do. This budget included airfare, Marriot hotel, car, wedding rags and about $4,000 for food and activities.

INTERESTING TIDBITS BELOW

Nixon was planning and working on putting his library in the coastal city of San Clemente, not far from his “western White House” on the beach, but the city was not cooperating and things were dragging on when the mayor of little Yorba Linda, called Nixon’s office in NYC, where Nixon had moved to a few years after leaving the White House. The mayor explained to the secretary, “We know that the president is well along with his plans in San Clemente, but we were wondering if President Nixon might consider the home place he was born in as the city now has control of it and the family orange grove where he grew up.” The secretary, perhaps knowing that the president was unhappy with San Clemente, responded, Mr. Nixon is here today and has a few minutes, would you like to speak with him?” “Yes, I very much would.” “Let me see if I can connect you.” A few minutes passed and Nixon was on the line. After listening to the mayor’s proposal, there was a long silence. So long that the mayor wondered if there was still a connection and finally asked “Are you still with me Mr. President.” Then the president spoke a resounding, “YES!” In those few brief minutes, Nixon had done some calculations and decided to dump San Clemente and return home.

A similar story is the location of President Kennedy’s grave. Some thought the location should in Brookline next to his deceased baby, Patrick, or even Boston Common, which was going to be very difficult to do in two days.

The name of Arlington was floated. Jackie left it to Bobby to decide. On Saturday morning, Bobby went out to the cemetery with Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, looked at a few locations and asked, “Do we have control here?” “Yes, we do.” In a split second, the decision was made and preparations were started. In that split second, Bobby, without knowing it, also selected his and his brother Teddy’s cemetery.

Arlington was the home of Robert E Lee, the able general who had already freed his slaves before secession and the Confederacy was born. The burial of soldiers on the front lawn during the civil war was to dishonor Lee, but it has become a place of extreme honor.

Men’s hats were really important back in the early 60’s and before. You look at those pictures of the motorcade in Dallas and about half of the men were wearing hats. Jack had carried a hat to his inauguration, but hardly wore it. He declined to wear a cowboy hat when given one in Texas on that final trip, offering to wear it in the oval office when they came to see him in the White House, a place he would never see again.. Brother Teddy had a very large head and somehow he got to the location of Jack’s funeral without a mourning hat that fit. Nobody had a larger head to borrow a hat from. Consideration was given to using a string under Teddy’s chin to keep it on; somewhat like a child’s party hat. Bobby, at the last minute said just before they exited the vehicle. “Screw the hats, Jack hated them.” The visiting dignitaries quickly discarded their hats to be consistent. And after 50 years men’s hats have never recovered from that blow to them by Bobby.

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Sat, 10-05-2013 - 12:15pm

Kimmy, I surely hope that your daughters stay happy, and do not regret the road untraveled. 

Dh & I wanted our daughters to travel the roads.  When ODD was 13, she had been taking clarinet lessons for 4 years, and was first chair in her section in the school band.  She was also a "big sister/mentor" to a beginning clarinet student, was in marching band, learning to use charcoals, taking riding lessons, doing community service for her confirmation, and babysitting.  When YDD was 13, she had been taking flute lessons for 4 years, was in concert band, taking dance lessons, involved in the "Girls and Technology" club, was the typist for the school newspaper, doing community service, and babysitting her flute teacher's infant and toddler. 

If someone asked them to a middle school dance, we told them, "That's fine--you'll see them there."  Boys did not come to the house unless it was with a group of friends, which we supervised.  They did not go to boys' homes.  They did not "hang out" at the mall, the movies, the park or anyplace else.  They went to specific activities--bowling, roller rink, movies, amusment park, when they had free time after practices, competitions, homework, community service, chores, and jobs. They went with their friends, taken there by one set of parents, supervised there by the parents as often as not, and picked up by another set of parents.  All their friends were as busy as they were.  

Beginning the summer befor 9th grade, they practiced marching and did sectionals from 8 to 12  every day.  Then they went home, and god help them if anybody came into the house, or they left, unless it was to a supervised activity, or parents of the kids they were babysitting came and got them.  Dh was home by 3pm, and I was off Monday afternoons, and Fridays.

As they got older, they got busier.  They were in honors, and AP classes.  They were in park distrct sports.  They did community service.  They marched competativily, so on top of practice, there were the trips, parades and shows.  Older dd played pit band for local community theaters, and played in the community band.  Ydd was in dance, and in the drama club.  Once they turned 16, they got "real" jobs that they fit in around their other activities.  Besides supporting their phones and cars, the money helped pay for the more expensive band trips, and more expensive fun, like attending professional sports, theater, concerts, and activities downtown.

They went to college, and made great friends at school and work.  They worked hard, and played hard.  By the time ODD was 22, she'd been to Montreal, Toronto, London and NYC on her OWN dime.  She graduated college, began teaching HS Art, moved out with friends, got engaged, broke it off, and moved into her own apt.  She is still teaching, and is Department Chair.  Met a new guy, travels everywhere, does everything.  10 days in Spain in July, and just got back from a long weekend in Maryland.  They have a townhouse.  She is getting married, and having her 1st baby, at 32.

By the time YDD was 21, she'd gotten a full time secretarial job, finished college, and moved to Virginia Beach to work for a Fortune 500 law firm, and live with her fiancee.   She got married when she was 22, and they bought a condo back in Illinois when she was 23.  When she was 25, she got rid of the husband, but kept the condo.  Worked for several lawfirms, met a new guy, will NEVER get married again, but had her first baby 21 months ago, when she was 28.  6 weeks after giving birth, she switched jobs from being a legal secretary, to being the Exec Sec for the president of a shipping firm.  The business is growing tremendously, and a few months ago, the pres brought in a CFO.  The CFO told my dd he'd told the boss, "You struck gold when you hired her !"  She has a lot of responsibility, but in return, they are very good to her.

I was informed by Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan, and Erma Bombeck.  I think my kids were informed by Carrie Bradshaw, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  I'm glad. 

Now I'VE written a novel.

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