Thursday, June 19, 2008
Thursday, June 12, 2008
There are lots of things I used to sneer at as ridiculous. But then I had kids and suddenly, stuff started to make more sense. Oh I still sneer at them but they make more sense to me. Giving kids trophies just for showing up was one of them. It seemed silly and didn’t really teach the kid about working hard to achieve a goal. But if you’ve ever seen the look of disappointment on the face a kid who tried his best but still failed, you realize that some lessons just don’t matter. ADHD was another one. Before becoming a parent, I thought ADHD was just something parents hid behind to explain away their inability to control their kids. Then I experienced it first hand and praise the medication that’s out there. And I’ve lost patience for any parent who says, “oh I’d never medicate my child.” Yes you would if it would make his life easier.The latest thing is the preschool graduation. It’s taken me awhile to come around on this one because it just seemed silly and unnecessary. Making parents to take time off for some totally invented occasion felt a little Hallmarkish, you know? And Hallmark sells preschool graduation cards. I know because we got one for my daughter. I was right there in the middle of the throng of smiling parents and videocameras with a goofy grin on my face as my little girl walked down the aisle with her classmates, sat down and sang a song from “Seussical”. And as I fought back the tears I felt coming on as the ceremony wrapped up, I realized that as ridiculous as the whole thing was, there was nowhere else I would rather have been.
I’m cheap. Most people would agree with this self-evaluation despite the fact that I never seem to have any money. The reality is that I’m cheap when it comes to things I need. I’ll throw away smaller amounts on little things like songs on iTunes or a $10 pair of sunglasses. But I hate spending more than $40 on sneakers or jeans. That explains my lame, outdated wardrobe.
Being a suburban homeowner has made it hard to be so miserly. Fellow homeowners know that anything that needs to be fixed in a house will cost some major coin. Just this year, the dishwasher and the hot water heater died. I’m pretty sure either the fridge or the dryer is getting ready to go. And I don’t venture out on my deck without shoes. It’s because of all this that I’ve held off on having my trees pruned. I bought one of those things that have a sharp saw at the end of a 16-foot pole and I’ve balanced precariously at the top of a ladder in order to do some of my own pruning. But every time there’s a big rainstorm or some wind, I find huge limbs all over the driveway, the front yard, the back yard. I’ve actually been hoping to avoid paying a tree service thousands of dollars because I figured all the dead branches would just fall off by themselves.Then this happened.