My mind and actions in viewable format.
Posts tagged life
today i heard from my bosses boss how they feel about how i’m doing my job.
they said that they were impressed with what i’ve been doing for the last two years.
i cannot relay easily how much that small statement has made my day.
front yard sovereignty
So, here’s the scenario:
Yesterday afternoon, some seriously uncool stuff happened in my front yard.
My daughter was out front playing on her scooter. She was accosted by a classmate who called her names and apparently had hurt a friend of Tess’ at school that very day.
My little girl, told the boy to leave her alone. He did not. Maturely, she picked up her scooter and went into the backyard to help me with stuff instead.
I didn’t know what was going on outside, I was working on my project. Normally, there is some sort of child noise in the front of my place, so I pay it little heed.
I’m finishing up my little backyard engineering project, and I send Tess and Fred to the front yard to get me some stones to put with the newly installed rain barrel.
A few moments pass, and I hear a commotion that doesn’t sound like playing. It sounds like harsh words and threats. I heard “get away” and “help”.
I quickly go out front and find some young kid trying to run my kids over with his bike. He says something to me about how I should teach my daughter to have a better attitude. I told him to leave, in my own inimical style. He left. (I was hoping he and his parents would return to determine why I shouted at their son. They never came over.) Not knowing what had happened, I yelled at my kids to go inside. De Facto, I have this habit of simply assuming my kids are probably at least in part at fault. And I will not have my children be the hellions of the neighborhood. In the house we go.
I demanded that they tell me why they were causing problems. They were scared because they were in trouble, and did not immediately tell me what had happened. After a time, they finally told me that the kid had come into my yard and had pushed Tess. And Fred was going to protect Tess and stop him from hurting his sister. So, of course, I had to apologize to my kids for getting angry with them. I felt really bad, because I originally thought they’d provoked the kid. They were only out there a minute though, the kid had come looking for Tess. He intended to start something with her.
Which brings me to the point of the whole post; what do you tell your kids about this? I cannot in good conscience tell them to not play in front of their house. I also can’t really tell them to stay away from that kid, as he had no problem trespassing onto my property to assault my daughter. (I don’t use that term lightly here either. He pushed her without provocation and then when Fred came to her rescue he tried to run Fred over with a bike. If I were to push you, I would go to jail. the charge would be assault. So yeah, the little prick assaulted my kid)
But what do you tell your children to do about bullies? I told Fred he cannot resort to violence. That’s weird coming from me, because growing up? I was violent. I had serious anger issues and was in more than a few fights and scuffles. I definitely know how a young me would handle this situation. I don’t want that for my kids. I don’t want them to be submissive to this little kid either. My kids deserve their front yard sovereignty. Part of me wants to exhort them to defend that right.
But instead, I told Tess and Fred that if he comes around again and tries to start things, that they are to simply go into the backyard away from him. If he tries to do anything that they are to yell as loud as they like for him to go away or for an adult to come, but to not resort to violence of any kind. (though, I did put in the proviso that if he lays hands on Tess again that she may use whatever force she thinks is necessary to stop him, I’m not completely non-violent). But violence against their neighbors is not a path that I want my kids to consider as anything other than a very last possible option. At the very same time, I want them to be able to enjoy their yard and their neighborhood. I moved out of Old Towne because that was something that was not going to happen there.
Parents. This is really the fault of parents who’ve let their spawn off the leash because they don’t care, or at the very least, are not engaged with the lives of their children. My kids have strict parents. They are raised with morals and ethics. They are not bullies. They would be in SO much trouble if they even so much as thought about pushing around another kid for any reason. (Hell, my son was grounded for a month for being involved with an accident where a smaller kid got hurt. He wasn’t even really to blame, but I wanted to send a message about harm.)
The parents of that kid did not come over and find out why their kid got hollered at by a huge guy. They clearly don’t care why. Hell they probably know why. If my kids were at another persons house and they were getting screamed at, I would ask WTF did the KIDS do. I would want to show my neighbor that I am an equal partner in the civility of the neighborhood. That’s really part and parcel to our society (or at least it friggen should be).
Looks like I’m going to be chaperoning my own front yard for a while. At least the weather looks like it’s warming up.
When did I become such a wimp?
My daughter is hilarious
Katessa has been the subject of a couple of my blog posts recently, and I think that’s because she’s really interesting to me and because she’s so damn funny.
I mean, who can’t love a kid who tells an overbearing teacher that “she is mean” to her face?
The recent hilarity has been building, and I figured I’d share it.
Her homework assignment was to draw little pictures in boxes.
Under each set of boxes were the words Past, Present and Future.
Under Past, Tess drew a picture of a little girl in a diaper with a rattle yelling “I’m winning!!” (i’m not kidding.) And a picture of that baby pooping out little poops.
Under present she drew herself going to school and playing outside and smiling.
Under future, she drew an old lady with a cane and a grave with “RIP” on the front of it and a bat flying over head.
The teacher didn’t say anything about the Sheenism or the pooping. But her comment on the Future bit was really amusing, as she was clearly distraught.
An arrow scrawled to the box with the words “I’m interested in the time before this!!!” She writes in loopy letters on the side of the gravestone box.
I’m interested in how comfortable with the whole “life” thing my daughter seems to be ^_^
I wrote this about 8 years ago.
November 03 2003
The place I’m at is just a test,
Like learning to sing or play the guitar.
It’s hard to notice the small changes,
yet they’ll be made anyway
Until I learn to croon or play…
So the daily perserverance
the parameters of what’s to come.
They are derived from where I’ve started from.
Divided by time.
What will come and what will be
Are both ironically
entirely up to me.
So choices laid plain
once taken not made again
Yet each draws out to a blade
The pinnacle sharp and exacting
So each side weighed with triumph known
Shedding not but hints and extrapolation
Each option a leap of Faith.
What matters isn’t what is shown, but how.
Only those convictions followed
with bravest of intent
shall reveal the way from the wayside.
So that what’s to come
is grander than
where I may have started from.
I was 23.
Recently I’ve become acutely aware that 31 is not as old as I once though it was. Work has been oddly fantastic. I’m knocking out deliverables left and right. I have to remind myself that this is just what life is and that there is no amazing what’s to come.
A lot of people I know aren’t able to do that. They simply see what could be better or how things might be improved. When I was a younger man, my step-father tried to impress upon me the importance of existing in the present. He wasn’t always the most eloquent of people to hang around with, but his sayings and common points of view sorta stick with me to this day. Like that bit about looking around or you’ll miss life bit from Ferris Buehler’s Day Off.
Shit happens. But really, the only go you have at life is the one you’re plodding along in right now. You have to make the most of it is all I’m saying.
God knows you’d hate to miss anything.
I started writing this post because the things I’m seeing happening around the world and even within my own circle, just drives me to revisit those old adages and crazy ravings of my step-father. (I wish he lived closer or was a telephone person, but what can you do?) It’s perspective. I’ve inserted the entire conversation into my world view.
Success and failure are all matters of perspective. That girlfriend you lost that you pine over? Good lord, she’s gone so you can find the one you ought to be with. That failed business? It failed because you needed a reason to get off and work on the better one. It’s when we cling to the failures and hurts, and mistakes that we really prevent ourselves from becoming more than what we are. Sometimes we have to pick ourselves back up and just try again.
One of the reasons that science still appeals to me after these years is that it is the only job that really embraces failure (yes even in the private sector, though, failure has to be controlled to be within the timeline, i’m digressing calm down). But like almost no other job, the sciences allow for something that is incredibly terrible and unexpected to happen and have it almost miraculously become something new and useful simply because it challenges the status quo or improves the understanding of a topic. And really, that’s a workable definition for failure anyway.
It doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It’s just a stoppage of movement in a single direction. A pause. Let’s you get your breath back before trying it again.
Working like crazy and car trouble.
This week has been a little interesting, and it’s only Wednesday.
Last weekend my brother in law Britt came down with Alice to babysit my kids while Kate and I went on an honest to God adult outing. Catherine and I went wine tasting and got a massage and went to lunch. Fantastic.
Then we all ate and drank and watched the Superbowl and got to watch the Packers win a really good and fun to watch game.
Then Monday came.
Monday started out with oversleeping, dashing to the frozen car and driving like a madman to get to Frederick to pick up an international coworker who was here to assist with some of my work. Car is almost out of fuel, I notice but consider I will fuel up after picking up my associate. I hear a bell and think it’s the fuel alarm, but in fact it is the overheat alarm for the engine.
OH Noes! I’m in the speed lane doing like 75-80 and have to essentially cut across 3 lanes of traffic to get to the breakdown lane and turn the car off. Amazingly this goes off without a hitch, I shut the car down and stared blankly at the dash. “WTF is this?” I think.
Mind you, it’s really cold. I’m on route 70 and there are semi’s going by at 80 mph. I’m not getting out of the car to check this here. I call my boss and appraise her of my situation, and ask if she can get hold of my associate who is waiting for me. She does and asks if I need pickup. I initially say no, because Kate will come and get me no problem. I hang up and call kate.
Kate has left the house with the equal oversleeping furvor as I did, and has forgotten her cell phone. CRAP! I call her mom, who is luckily still at the house and let her know that I am stranded. She tells me that Kate left the house like two minutes ago, which means that kate will be gone for at least 15 minutes. I tell mom to tell kate to call me and hang up.
Dead car. On the side of the frozen Maryland highway. I am surprisingly calm given that my vehicle has screwed up my entire day. I smell the car air, it does not smell of oil or gas, and the vapor coming out of the hood is not billowing opaque white. I turn the car back to “on” and the heat has normalized. I look out of the dash and see the exit sign for New Market, about a mile ahead. I say to hell with it and start the car. It fires up. I put on my flashers and drove at 45 mph to the exit got off and got to a gas station and shut off the car. woohoo! But after talking with the attendants it turns out that there are no garages in new market. BOO HOO!
Kate gets me on the phone and we start talking logistics of car towing. She hangs up and my boss calls me to tell me she’s coming to my rescue. I go get coffee for everybody. Kate makes the connection with the towing company and takes the car to my guy, and my boss rescued me and we got to work about an hour late.
Car cost me $229 bucks for complete repair. Turns out the old coolant reservoir just decided to die. No fuss. No new engine, no new radiator, just a 200 dollar plastic bucket and a new head light (completely unrelated).
On top of this craziness, I’m managing to complete all my work as well as get to meetings and complete the separate tasks that are appointed to me. I haven’t broken a sweat yet.
When did I become a grown up? It’s freaking weird.