28 June 2010

12 June 2010

The difference a year makes

So, one year ago we moved from Missouri to Texas.

To say our teen daughter was upset, full of angst, and depressed really doesn't cover it. She was pleading for us to stay even after the house was sold, the car and moving van loaded, and we were driving through Oklahoma.

One year ago this weekend, we packed her scared -- though she'll never admit that -- sad self into a church van and waved goodbye. It was a retreat/camp for young teens, and we figured that would be the easiest way for her to make friends. She hated us for doing it.

I worried and fretted the entire time she was gone, by the way. Would she make friends? Would she sulk the entire time? Would she get hurt?

She was radiant upon return. Not only did she make friends, she climbed some insanely high cliff, grabbed a brass ring, and rappelled down. She was one of a very few who did that.

It was the first time she had smiled in weeks.

This year, one year later, she stuffed her bags again. She checked in, was immediately hugged by her friend Mary, and then bounded off to help. All smiles from the start.

Amazing the difference a year makes.

04 June 2010

Consequences

We've all been there.

You make a decision that seemed good at the time.

Then, things happened.

There were consequences. Perhaps unintended. Perhaps the kind you didn't foresee because you didn't investigate the ramifications of your decision before you went ahead.

This has popped up a couple of times this past month for us.

The eldest was bummed at her graduation for a bit because she wasn't winning any scholarships. Name after name was called to be honored, but not hers.

We explained later that she didn't receive any scholarships because she didn't apply. She was going to the awesome public high school, the one with the awesome band program and architecture program. No scholarships needed.

Middle child runs into consequences all the time. He recently had to pony up $10 of hard-earned cash to replace the DS cord he gnawed to smithereens. (We're actually lucky Mr. Oral Fixation didn't electrocute himself. I'm sure he was doing it while it was plugged in.)

Youngest is learning all about consequences these days. That baby attitude won't fly when you are a five-going-on-six kindergartener-to-be.

It happens at work all the time. I know I'm not the only lone voice crying in the wilderness out there. More than once, I'm sure, we've all tried to point out the consequences of actions taken, only to have to deal with the messed-up results later.

You could even say that we, as Americans, are all dealing with consequences.

Most of us idly sat by and trusted our government to do its job. We didn't ask questions. We didn't push media outlets to investigate more when the past administration was pretty buddy-buddy with energy companies. We didn't ask questions about how quickly the new administration might make changes.

Now, with the Deepwater Horizon disaster, we are all suffering from unintended consequences. We didn't intend for this to happen. Nor did the engineers involved, I'm sure.

It happened all the same. Now we have to deal with our mess.