Monday, June 18, 2012

The Kids Are Alright

Well, graduation is here at last, and Carolyn is finally getting to walk across the stage.  Amanda took her turn across the boards earlier this week down in Virginia Beach -- more on that in a bit.  It does feel strange to me, having two kids leaving High School behind and heading off into the world.  I'm excited for more than just the usual reasons (like getting some lebensraum back in the house).  It's pretty cool to see the end result of so many years of work, both on our part as parents and theirs as students.  It's been a journey fraught with challenges, none more than in the past four years.

Like I mentioned earlier, Amanda graduated last week down in Virginia Beach.  No invitations sent, and only phone calls to Mom when she finally DID decide to invite us.  Part of the problem lies in the toxic environments -- the one she creates, as well as the one that is already down there.  Way too much drama for me, and way too much drama for Kelley.  I have work this week that cannot be missed, and Kelley had a few must-meet medical appointments.  So no, we did not get to go.  I don't feel bad for myself or Kelley at this point.  Mostly I feel sad for Amanda.  She's still trying to manipulate and run her games on her Mom.  The major reason she wanted us there at the last minute (as far as I can determine) was that her Aunt and Uncle backed out at the last moment, due to some real or imagined slight.  Nothing like being someone's second choice...  My only hope is that someday she'll start to figure out that letting your temper lead your thinking is a sure-fire way to end up with a lot of regrets in life.  I know personally that it's true -- and there are a few situations that I would dearly love to do over.

Carolyn's excited for graduation, and getting ready to go on with life.  Her plans are to go to NoVA (a local Community College) for the next two years to pick up her lower division, then transfer to James Madison for her upper division.  Staying in-state is cheaper by far, and with the pretty much 1:1 acceptance for credit hours with Virginia universities getting her Freshman/Sophomore stuff done at NoVA is a smart plan indeed.  Extra bonus: she'll be hanging here rent/board free as long as she's in school and pulling down the Good Grades.  I don't count it as a "Failure to Lauch" at all, rather a pleasant opportunity to continue to hang out and do cool things .

My job as a parent and as a father, has been to prepare them for living on their own in the real world the best that I can.  It started back when Kelley and I first got married, and I took on the responsibility of raising two (later three) small girls.  Years of running back and forth between elementary school and child care, a few years doing the Home School thing when we were stationed on Bolling AFB, dealing with the advanced nastiness that a sudden re-immersion into the public school system at a High School level brought us.  There's been any number of challenges over the years, and for the most part I've tried not to lead with my chin too often.

Still and all, I'm proud of my work, and proud of my girls.

Ostensibly Yours,