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    Tuesday
    Aug092011

    it never ends

    Sometimes for the briefest of moments you look at your grown child and you see them as they were, small and vulnerable and needing your protection. I had that experience today while at Children’s Hospital for a checkup with my son.  I saw him as he was in 2003 when he was hospitalized with a very serious medical condition.  I remember those days in the hospital when we didn’t know if they could fix anything or everything.  It was a long time ago, but seems like just yesterday.

    Today when I looked at him I saw a smart, kind, thougtful, brave young adult who takes everything in stride.  And it’s a good thing – cause he’s been thru more in his 18 years than most.  As a parent I know that my days of going to doctor’s appointments with him are almost over.  Part of letting go means that I have to trust him to manage his own healthcare.  Wow, that’s gonna be hard. 

    Let’s be honest about one thing.  With HIPAA privacy laws, he has to give permission for me to be in the room for a checkup or for the doctors to speak with me about his condition. Thankfully he has, and I expect it’s because he doesn’t really want to pay more attention to it right now.  And that’s ok with me. 

    I wish I could take care of him forever, but I know that it’s part of the process to let him take responsibility.  For him it’s just life as he knows it, he doesn’t think twice.  For me it’s constant worry. 

    Worry as a parent - it's not because you don't think your children are responsible or capable.  It's inate, and we can't do a thing about it. (And I'm not even gonna mention how worried I was yesterday when my oldest was 2 blocks from riots in London.

    This emotional part of preparing for an empty nest – I don’t like it at all.  Breathe in.  Breathe out.  It will be ok.

    Monday
    Aug082011

    weaver for president

    I will not be running for school board.  Most of you probably don’t even know that I’ve been contemplating it, but I have.  I was asked to run by my wicked smart and beautiful  friend Wendy, who already serves on the school board.  And by my friend Will, who is our highly successful middle school principal.  And by Matt, the extremely capable treasurer of our school district.  And others. 

    I’m not sure I’m qualified – let’s remember that I am an interior designer who manages long-range facilities planning, and design & construction projects. Not exactly education or business experience in any of that.  I’m sure I could advise on new color schemes for the hallways, sustainable materials, or more efficient use of space, but that doesn’t make me qualified.  I expect that people think I should run because I chaired the school levy committee – and the levy was successful on Election Day.  (Thank you for your vote!) My only other qualification is that I run a good meeting. 

    My dear friend John reminded me to ask myself if the school board thing fits into my 12 month plan, and he’s right.  I don’t think it does.  It’s not right for me to run for what is an elected office without being able to commit to the entire 4 year term.  Remember -  I don’t know if I’ll be leaving - but I am openly preparing to.  I don’t know if others are running, but if I did win and took the job away from someone who will commit to the entire four years it would just be wrong.

    This school system, the administrators, board members, staff & educators really took a beating in the press during the levy campaign.  It’s a thankless job – and I for one am extremely grateful to all of you.  I will support you all in any way I can, but not on the school board.   

    I could of course run for President - I could still serve no matter where I live. It would save the government money - because I could also be White House facilities manager.  Sadly - I'm not really qualified for president either.  I am however, qualified in the kitchen.  I hereby announce my candidacy for the Next Food Network Star. 

    Sunday
    Aug072011

    color theory

    Let’s talk about the college application process.  It’s not fun.  It’s like stumbling through a forest with a blindfold on. Each school has vastly different requirements.  Interviews are encouraged, interviews are forbidden.  ACT test, SAT test.  3 subject matter tests, subject matter tests in replacement of ACT test. Common application, + essay from the prompt, or +2 or 3 essays.  Send letters of recommendation, but don’t send too many.  Be creative and send a video, but don’t send anything that can’t be kept in an electronic file.  It’s like that maze in the Harry Potter movie where you feel like there may be death or injury at the end. 

    It is the first time when your newly ‘adult’ children are almost completely responsible for their own success or failure.  Where they go, and what offer to accept – their first adult decision.  I’m a relatively hands off parent when it comes to the application process.  I will encourage them to know the application requirements of the schools they are applying to, and then leave it up to them.  It’s a continuation of my homework parenting philosophy, which is to not pay much attention at all. (I’ll try not to get on my soap box, but most kids are going to crash and burn on some test or project, and I’d rather that happen when they’re at home than when they’re in college).  I’m a firm believer that as they get older – the parent needs to get lazier.  I know this doesn’t work for every child, but thankfully it’s worked for mine. 

    The kids – who knows how they choose to which schools they will apply?  I’ve learned that if I say that I like a school it will almost immediately be crossed off the list.  Size, programs, athletics, internships, % of applicants accepted, location, etc.  These are the things most often taken into consideration when choosing the right school.  I’d like to add one more to the mix.  School colors.  Let me explain.

    My college roommate Diane’s daughter is also a rising senior. (see  hail purdue – friends worth more than all the treasures of the earth)  Her daughter – who is quite beautiful, smart & accomplished - is seriously considering a school whose colors are YELLOW & BROWN!  What is she thinking!  No mom looks good in yellow and brown!  Come to think of it, even the young and beautiful don’t look good in yellow and brown.  My oldest goes to school in London – where they don’t really have sportswear – so I don’t care what the colors are.  My son is going to Xavier.  Excellent choice for him, and since I’m a pale brunette I look good in navy.  My youngest is considering schools that are purple, navy, etc.  So far so good.   

    Diane darling, you still have a son.  The pressure is on him.  You deserve to wear sportswear that enhances your natural Nordic beauty.   I’m thinking you would look fabulous in Carolina blue. 

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