Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Just a lot of nothing

I know it is Wednesday and you are expecting great stuff from me. I have had 5 days to think about today.
I have a couple of things to say, but not much, so here goes.

I finished the book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller.
I started reading this book because a guy I really like recommended it to me. He said it was life changing. I finished it and nothing. I was waiting for this epiphany and my life to change but nothing. It was like reading his journal. Like he would sit down at the end of the week and write a chapter about what he learned this week. It just started and then it just finished. No plot, no real climax, it just was.
So now that I am finished I am going to see this guy again, and he is going to ask me what I thought. When a guy says the book is LIFE CHANGING and I don't remember a thing about it, what do I say to him. I think I am going to lie.
Now along the same lines is I brought him my book The Glass Castle and told him that this was my favorite book of the year. And I went to him two weeks later and he said he hadn't started it yet.
Now I have lent this book to 3 people and not a single person liked it. I was like these people are idiots. That book was unbelievable.
So he told me last week that he downloaded the book and is listening to it on his iPod.
I said, "Oh" like I knew what he was talking about.
Please someone tell me what he meant. Can you go to itunes and download a book?
Aren't we losing the whole reason for having books? It is called READING not LISTENING.
I am reading a book called The Last Lecture.
I think I told you about it. It is a short book and a real easy read. I will have it finished by Friday.
Speaking of Friday, I will not be here. I am going to see Dr. Bill Strupp in St. Pete. It is all day Friday and all day Saturday. It is called Simplifying Complex Cosmetic and Restorative Dentistry (that is, I am banking on one day doing a complex or restorative case again).
Dr. Ric is on for Friday so the blog will go on.
Then on Saturday I am rushing back to Orlando for MONSTER JAM at the Citrus Bowl.
This year my daughter wants to go. So I am going and I am taking 4 children.
I will tell you about it next week. I will bring my camera.
So I don't know if I have told you but my daughter Madison is something special. I don't necessary have a favorite but if I did...
She is very smart (I am not joking when her pediatrician told us she was very advanced and we should consider finding her a special school) and very self-motivated.
So when you start getting older and you are looking at your kids and trying to see who is going to be successful enough to take care of you, Madison is my bet.
She comes home and does her homework with no issues. I ask her to do something and she does it. She likes to read and understands herself. For example, when she is tired she says, "I am going to bed" even though it might be 6 pm (and she goes to bed at 8:30).
Now when we are talking about her future, I am always talking about big stuff. For instance, she said she wanted to own a pet store when she gets old (she loves animals), I will say something like, "Why don't you first become a veterinarian and then buy your pet store?"
On Saturday my wife went to Costco and took Madison along and you can imagine my surprise when Madison came home and made a big announcement...."I know what I want to do when I grow up."
I said, "Awesome, what is it?"
And she pumped out her chest and said, "I want to man one of the food sample booths at Costco."
I did the best I could and said, "That is so awesome, you are going to be so good at that."
$75,000 in private school education before college and these are her aspirations.
Maybe it is time for a parent/teacher get together.
Speaking of parents and teachers. My son, Luke, you know the self-proclaimed "awesome" kid, is having an issue.
He was so upset last night. He claims that his teacher is being mean to him and picking on him.
Now we have come to a crossroad in our parenting.
Do we say, "Damn that teacher. How dare her be mean to this kid who we think is the best kid in the world"? Or do we say, "Luke, I am sorry dude. It is time to buck up and deal with it.
Now I am the ladder type of parent.
I became that way because I always had to deal with my own problems when I was in school. My parents cared but I was kind of self-sufficient. See my parents were spending most of their time dealing with my rebel older sister. So when I had a teacher that "didn't like me" there was no going to mommy and telling on the teacher.
Now my wife is the exact opposite. She wants to go running to the teacher and ask her what is up.
So there was a lively discussion at the dinner table last night. My wife tells Luke that she is going to talk to the teacher and I say, "What are you going to say?"
Luke was telling us that the kids get together and they are asked to keep their voices down and work together. So, my son, while crying (tool of manipulation) tells us that while he was imploring his group to quiet it down and he was getting on them about not working together she pointed him out and took him out of the exercise.
Now probably what happened is Luke says to the group, "HEY WE HAVE TO STOP PLAYING AROUND AND WORK!" while they were suppose to working quietly. He was being loud, plain and simple. It doesn't matter what he said...he got busted.
Now what he hears from the teacher is, "I don't like you and I think you are a brat so get out."
Whose fault is it? Well it's Luke's. If he doesn't want to be busted for talking too loud then he shouldn't be loud. I don't care if you are praising Jesus, just do it quietly.
And Luke, like I said before, is a "golden child" and a master manipulator. This is a deadly combination.
He does most things half-ass and tells you he did it. Go clean your room. He goes into his room and comes out in about 30 seconds. You go in his room and one piece of clothing has been moved, not cleaned. But if you ask him, he would say that he cleaned his room.
So his impression of what happens is very tilted toward Luke.
But this being said, most kids want an advocate. They want to know that their parents are going to back them, go to bat for them.
I mean, I want that.
So somehow we have to let Luke know that we love him and will always be there for him but just not this time. Who knew parenting would be so hard. And I think it is going to get harder.
For instance, I had a parent come in and her 19-year-old daughter is in college three hours away in Boca. She said she had to go to the hospital last week. She said her blood pressure was up. She was having heart palpitations and stuff. She went to the emergency room and they didn't find anything after all sorts of tests.
Then again last night she was having the same kind of symptoms. So what is at the top of your diagnosis? Let me remind you of the story...19-year-old away from her family for the first time, at college. DRUGS. Maybe NoDoz or some Sudafed. Or maybe some greenies or some reds.
Maybe she got drunk for the first time, but who knows.
I asked the mom, "Is she doing any drugs?"
And of course she said, "No, she doesn't do anything like that."
Neither did I until I went to college.
I have said too much.

Have a great Wednesday.

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