Tuesday, June 28, 2011

It's good to be home

I hate moving, but it is an integral part of military life as any military wife could tell you. This is it, what i hope will be our final move.
While I sit on a hardwood floor wondering when our furniture will be delivered, it has to be said that it is good to be home - back in Annapolis and south of the Mason- Dixon line.
One of my favorite things about being back is the ability to get sweet tea every where I go. Not sweetened tea, and certainly not peach nor raspberry flavored tea, but real, honest to goodness southern sweet tea. Awesome! Last night we had dinner at Boston Market, something that I haven't been able to do for five years.There are things I will miss about Ledyard: my home, my students and my friends. All that aside though, it must be said that it's good to be home!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The things my Father taught me....

Today is Father's day and I realize that my Dad has been gone for almost two years. There were so many times when he was alive, teaching me the hard lessons that I didn't want to see him or talk to him and now, I would give anything to have all that precious time back. In the end, I know my father knew how very much I loved him. As I grew older, we saw so many things very much the same. He used to tell me that he was a dinosaur, the last of his kind, but he wasn't because he had me.
My father taught me many valuable lessons throughout my life, things that I will never forget. The first lesson that he taught me is that the man a girl can trust and rely on the most is her Daddy. ( I know not everyone is fortunate enough to have a wonderful father like I did, but for those of us who do or did, this statement is true). My Dad was like a mix between G.I. Joe and Santa Claus. There was nothing that my father couldn't do. As we grow older though, we realize that even our heroes can't do everything and the one battle my father couldn't win was his battle against cancer. Even with that though, he lived his life in his own way, right up to the end and that is it's own victory really.
One of the most important lessons that my father taught me was a saying of his from the Air Force - Proper planning prevents piss poor performance. I am not nearly as good at this as my dad was - he was a master, even planning and providing for his own funeral. Another lesson that goes hand in hand with the first is that we humans are always one step away from a tragedy. My brother died when he was three years old, he fell off the tractor that my dad was driving. It's a tragedy that both my parents have lived with all their lives. The prescence of this event was always there in my family and it taught me to be cautious and to take steps to try and avert these kinds of tragedies. I don't know if this makes me a better or a worse person, but it does make me who I am.
My father lived his life as a man of honor. He always said that a man's word was his bond and he never faltered from that. Jim Beadling's word was the gold standard, even people who didn't like my dad would admit to that. He taught me what it meant to be a friend, a real friend. I dont' think that I am the kind of friend to people that he was, but it is something to strive for and I do.
He also taught me the importance of an education. All my life my father encouraged me to go to school, to better myself, to learn more - whatever my interests were. He always said that knowledge is the one thing that no one can ever take from you and I hope to pass that and all these lessons on to my daughters.
We all still miss him very much, but today, on Father's day, I wanted to honor the man that he was and all the wonderful gifts that he brought to my life. Happy Father's Day Daddy.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Don't Mess with Mama Bear

As you may know, if you have read any of my prior entries, my family and I are preparing to move - home, to Annapolis. I call Annapolis home, but none of my family is from there. I am from western Pennsylvania, but I wouldn't want to go "home". Annapolis has the same smells and the feel of home for me, thus making it as close to my real home as I would ever want to be.
When preparing for a move, I get all the required paperwork from doctor's offices and schools all lined up. I always hand carry at least one copy because you just never know what is going to happen. These are my records and my children's records and I want them. I don't need a reason, that's just the way it is.
On the 30th of May, I went in to the office of my children's school, where I also work, and I requested copies of all their school records, particularly those pertaining to testing and giftedness. We are moving to a school district where they actually *have* programs for gifted children. My oldest daughter has been "tagged" since she was in the second grade; however, the district that we currently live in does not consider allocating funds for the gifted to be important and so they don't. Now that my daughter has an opportunity to engage in these programs with advanced curriculum and enrichment activities, I'm going to make sure that she has full access.
When I went into the office yesterday to pick up the records, the staff was umprepared and the files were incomplete. One of the pieces of information that I most needed was sent onto the middle school in our local area, even though the staff has been well aware, since January, that my daughter would not be attending there. I was polite at first, asking how we may go about getting the results of this testing. The secretary, who is a lovely woman, said she would make a call for me. No big deal.
Later in the hallway however, the principal came up to me and stated how this wasn't her job and this was all very irregular. I stated that I would simply call the middle school, no big deal. Her attitude was very antagonistic. That's when I finally came back with, "Look, these are my child's academic records, they aren't your intellectual property, I want them and I want them by 2 o'clock today, as I informed you of over a week and a half ago. I don't care how it happens, or who makes it happen, but those records need to be ready. No excuses."
After much hullaballo over what should have been a very simple request, I finally picked up the records of both my children, though still incomplete. I do have all the testing records that I will need, but the attitude of some schools when dealing with parents is just frustrating. Don't act like you know better than me because you are an administrator of a school. I'm a parent, that's my child and it's my job to do what's best for her. The best thing you can do? Help me or get the hell out of my way.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Next Chapter

I am down to my last two weeks here in CT. It's strange how that feels. This has been my home for the last five years. These walls have kept me safe and sheltered me from the world. They have seen my children grow, heard us all laugh and cry. Moving on from a place isn't always easy and that is true this time.
Although I'm going home, the leaving part is still a mixed blessing. In my heart, I wonder how long I will think of this house as my home? It takes a long time to make a home - a place where those memories of a family are built. However, a home is more than that too. The people in a place help make it your home. Thankfully, the three most important people in this place will all be coming with me to my new home. One thing that the Navy has taught me is that home is more than four walls - it's the people in it.
The thing I dread the most is saying goodbye to my students, the kids that I work with everyday. Each one of them holds a small part of my heart, larger perhaps than I would care to admit. I love my job and I love the students I work with. I will miss them all greatly. Part of me wishes that I could stay and watch them grow and continue to be a part of their lives. However, this leaving, it's the right thing for my family and that makes it the right thing for me. I am thankful that my students have many wonderful people both in school and out, that will look after them and help them. I don't need to worry when I say goodbye, only feel the sorrow that they will be missed.
I have friends here, wonderful friends. These women have been my sisters through some very difficult and trying times. I know that a move doesn't mean friendships come to an end or that new friends replace the old. Whatever role these women have to play in my life, I will never forget them or the time we spent together.
I am looking forward to the next chapter....

Friday, June 3, 2011

Why do they need a cell phone?

Just this week the WHO has come out with "shocking" news, the truth of which my husband and I have suspected all along. The use of cell phones can increase your risk of cancer. My husband works on submarines. When it comes to radioactive material, the best protections are distance and shielding - a cell phone offers neither. People walk around with these things connected to their ears or their hands. It's pathetic.

Even worse is the parents who cater to the every whim of their children, giving them cell phones that frankly, they just don't need. No sorry you are not getting a cell phone, that is what I tell my children. Aside for it being just flat out bad for you (see above) what is the need for a CHILD to have one? I hear some parents say, what if there is an emergency/ safety issue? My children are never in a situation that I don't know where they are, that there isn't at least one adult supervising them that has a cell phone or access to a land line. Next.....
Some parents say they have cell phones so they can have contact with their friends. That is what school, sleepovers and extracurricular activities are for. Children have become so reliant on texting that they no longer know how to communicate face to face. I was at the mall the other day and saw three 16 year old girls. Sitting together all texting one another. How pathetic is that? We are so busy "connecting" that we have no idea how to really connect on a personal level.

I don't think constantly giving into a child's every whim is healthy for them and this is just one more stellar example proving that point. Parents need to be parents, make decisions that are in the best interest of their children and occassionally.... gasp.... learn how to say no.