Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Lou Gehrig.... Words to Remember and Live By

Yes...
I just made a baseball reference.

And being as the Orioles won last night...
and it IS baseball season I figured it was appropriate.

The words to which I am referring are the words now immortalized on film spoken by Lou when he retired from the game of baseball because he had become too ill to continue to play.

He had ALS... a disease that attacks the body and renders one unable to control their own muscles.
This disease is most commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig's disease...
Go figure.

                           Lou Gehrig Speech July 4th,1939 Yankee Stadium


The part of his famous, and heart wrenching, speech that I find so motivating is the part where he says...
" Today I consider myself the Luckiest Man on the Face of the Earth"

I feel like there are not enough people who can say that they have felt that way on any day in their entire lives

This makes me sad...
but TODAY I know that there are moms and dads all over the land who are breathing a sigh of relief as they sit down to their morning cup of joe...

Because today is the 2nd second day of school...
well, it's the 2nd second day because the 1st day was Monday, but it didn't really count since only elementary, 6th and 9th graders went...
Making yesterday the 1st second day of school...
the day that all the kids actually went...

As another long school year begins...
I look back at the trials and tribulations of years gone by...
as I look ahead to those that are sure to be coming and can't help but think...

If Lou Gehrig could meet his fate head one with such a positive attitude...
then surely I can look at this new school year and my new job and the changes in our family's routine and dynamics the same way...

Having a good role model is important...

Lou Gehrig is Mine...

Who is Yours?

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Beginning and The End...

When all else fails ... start writing.

This is a sure fire way to get your head on straight...
or at least to get your brain working.

This summer  I have spent quite a bit of time sitting by the pool, reading, soaking up some rays and dipping into the pool.

I have also spent a bit of time with and around teenagers.
This is probably because 3 currently live in my house...

but it is most likely because the 3 that live here have friends...
and because I work with the boy's youth group and spend a lot of time at the ball fields while the kids have football and soccer practice.

Spending so much time around these alien creatures that were once polite, quiet and, dare I say, shy children I can't help but wonder what being in high school now would be like.

And then I shudder, and possibly even throw up a little in my throat, and am so glad that I am not.

On a trip to the local merchandising mecca, also known as The Mall,  I was inundated with the fashions of today...
that look an awfully lot like those worn by myself and my contemporaries back in The Day.

Dolman sleeved tops, striped box-like tunic dresses, leggings and ankle boots...
all that was missing was the bi-level haircut and hair permed and colored to within an inch of it's natural life.

Polo shirts with logos on the breast , not of an alligator, but of an eagle taking flight; skinny jeans and boat shoes..." Mom, they're called Sperry's!" an exasperated BratChild and SIX say as they roll their eyes at me in unison...

These, too, were the dress code of choice in my high school life.

Listening to not only my children, but those of the other mother's looking as haggard and beaten down by peer pressure as I, I could only shake my head and wonder how, after so many years, things could possibly remain the same.

And then it hit me.
Teens today have the same desperate need to be individuals...
To set themselves apart from the crowd...
To define themselves...
within a certain band of similarly minded kids.

And thus the 'Clique' is born.
SIX and BratChild tend to travel in the same group, like a school of dolphins, or perhaps piranha...

While TeenBoy, although just as affable and friendly, within his own tribe that is...
although a bit more reclusive and quite often stand-offish...
runs to the less well-groomed end of the spectrum favoring the loose fit style of jeans, Vans and logoed t-shirts made popular by skaters and surfers in the late 80's and 90's.
Hair that is more 'bed-head' than styled and an aloof demeanor that does not invite needless banter,
he is the one that I worry will succumb to the dreaded peer pressure that runs rampant in high schools.

But, he is smart.
He is intelligent.
And he is enough of his own person that I hope he will stand up to those pressures and prevail...

While SIX and BratChild are part of the same group of friends, TeenBoy is considered by them to be an outsider, although he too plays football and rides the school bus and knows all the same people.
He just chooses not to fit into their, again I revert to my youth and will call it as I see it, Preppy attitude of dress and behavior.

Does this make him the more independent one. or does this target him as just too different?

I guess this year will tell.
As we begin yet another hectic and. most likely harrowing, year of learning...
All 3 will once again be in the same school.

High School... a freshman, a sophomore and a junior...
all together, and yet not...
it is very likely that they will have some classes together...
something that makes BratChild cringe, SIX assure us that he will be the better student and TeenBoy?
well he's none too thrilled either.

For me it is the beginning of the end...
The end of their childhood...
The end of primary school...
The end of rec league sports...
The beginning of the end of child-rearing...
For you see, in 1 year they will be sophomore, junior and senior...
And the year after that... well,  there will be only 2, and then, only 1 and then...

I can only hope that they have learned the lessons I have spent the last umpteen years trying to teach...
that the choices they make, regarding each other and their friends, will be ones that I approve of and can be proud of...
And that they will find that despite, and possibly even because of, their differences they do like and respect each other...
and maybe, just maybe a little bit...
Need each other.

It is time to let them go...
And let them find out who they are meant to be.
And I believe that they will find out that they are exactly the lovely, compassionate and caring people that I know them to be...