YOU are invited to participate in this week’s Carnival of Family Life as it will be a very special Edition, focused upon the inaugural of our forty-fourth President, Barack Obama, and annual commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birth. Participants are strongly urged to write about one or both of those topics, or other aspects of Americans’ right for, celebration and enjoyment of civil rights. This is a topic about which I am passionate and to which I have devoted the bulk of my professional endeavors. So not only will I be contributing some of my own thoughts, I am very anxious to read about the experiences, opinions, and hopes of other bloggers. Join us by submitting your post using this link!
MattieBoo finished his first semester finals yesterday and is enjoying a much-deserved four-day weekend. He completed his Criminal Justice course (an elective) which included a couple of mock trials, a field trip to and tour of the Lodi Police Department, and instruction on the Fourth and Fifth Amendments. He did very well and anticipates an excellent final grade. He is definitely showing the potential to become a lawyer . . .
. . . in part because he is now going through the argument stage. Parents of late teens know what I’m talking about. It’s the point in time when teenagers conclude that they know more than their parents and begin arguing about every little thing. In the past few months, he has begun correcting me when he believes I have misstated a fact or failed to provide enough detail when describing an event or occurrence. He corrects me if he thinks I have made even the smallest error, and is frequently saying things like, “I know that,” “I’m not stupid,” and — my personal favorite — “You don’t need to remind me about that; I’m not a little kid, you know.” Given that I had to purchase all new clothes for him before he could return to school after the end-of-the-year vacation — including size 12 shoes — I am keenly aware that, at age 17 and standing eyeball to eyeball with his father, he is definitely not my little Mattie-Boo any longer.
We don’t know exactly how old Buddy is, but we estimate he is about 13 1/2. We affectionately call him “the little ol’ man” because he is a creature of habit. He likes to maintain a routine and gets disoriented if the schedule changes. Unfortunately, BigBob is working nights because his employer laid off an entire shift of workers while we were on vacation. His hours changed slightly this past week, just as Buddy was adapting to the initial variation of his routine. Because we have never had fewer than two family pets at any time, my boys are true animal lovers and very protective of their dogs, especially Buddy. #1Son has once again stepped up and looked after him. When BigBob leaves for work, Buddy just stands in the middle of the floor looking at the door and back at us, as if to say, “What is going on around here? I’m so confused.” #1Son put Buddy’s bed in his room, gets him settled in for the night, and reassures him. I’m very proud of the way both of my boys care about and for their dogs. The other night, in response to a story of animal cruelty on the news, MattieBoo looked at BigBob and, with Sophie on his lap, asked, “Dad, how could anyone be mean to an animal?” It is hard to imagine. But in particular, I have again admired the loving way that #1Son has taken on added responsibility to watch over Buddy without being asked to do so.
This time around, BigBob is being a better sport about working nights than in years past. I credit the CPAP machine that he began using this past September. He adjusted to it with little trouble and is, overall, feeling much better. We had no idea that, for at least several years, he was living in a state of perpetual sleep deprivation.
We are all looking forward to the three-day weekend. The weather has been beautiful — in the mid to high 60’s in the afternoons with clear blue skies. Yes, we need rain, but until it arrives, we are enjoying the unseasonably lovely days.
What would you do if you wrangled a ticket to the inauguration of Barack Obama and came home to find it in this condition? A Sacramento woman is being a good sport. She came home to find that the ticket had arrived — dropped through the mail slot — but her new puppy took delivery before she could. She still plans to make the trip to Washington, D.C. and hopes that the ticket she and her daughter have spent hours piecing back together will be accepted. Regular readers know how much my family and I adore our dogs, but I think they would definitely be spending time in their house rather than mine if they did that to something as rare and valuable as a ticket to a presidential inauguration. Especially Obama’s!