Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Career Paths

Last night I overheard a man drilling some go-get'er attitude into his young (around 10 - 11, I'd say) son. The son seemed somewhat interested, but also somewhat bored with the talk. The kid was a doughy sort, seemed kinda laid back. He'd just finished his Chik-fil-A sandwhich and was being chastised for eating a 2-mile-high ice cream cone, That is, chastised by the Father that BOUGHT it for him. This frustrated the crap 'outta me... Why buy the kid ice-cream if you are just going to give him a hard time about eating it? Anyway...

So, I sat and listened to the pep-talk while I cajoled Jim to eat his chicken and I tickled Miss M to keep her cheery.

The lesson I gathered from the father's extolling was that this boy, this son, should put down his ice-cream cone and put himself squarely on the road to "Giving it your ALL!". The subject was sports. The boy apparently needed to bring his "A" game up a bit to suit his father. The boy seemed less than interested by this point in the talk and sunk lower in the bench seat, still eating his ice cream.

The father then whispered conspiratorially, "You see this? This is the reason!". Without speaking, and with a gleam of riches in his eye, the father brandishes a baseball card, a Rookie card, and whispered, "BallPlayer Whatshisname STARTED at One Hundered THOUSAND Dollars a YEAR!", then he yells, "STARTED! Can you IMAGINE?!?!?!?". Then he waits, sure the son will come around, and he does.

The son sits up straighter, looks more closely at the card. The Father, realizing his fish is on the line, starts reeling in the story. He's guesstimating how much Player Whatshisname is making now, what he is worth, what he will make over a lifetime. The son steals glances at me, I think he's looking for confirmation, but I look away.

I can't help but think... That poor boy. Only 1 in several thousand ever make it to be a real ball player. Most just end up frustrated that they didn't make it. I'm sure there will be hurt feelings and lost dreams on the Father's part, too. Hopefully he won't take it out on the kid forever...one of those "you didn't make it happen" regrets.

It occurs to me too, that most kids with his cultural background don't focus on their studies, so they don't even graduate high school. His father is trying to set him on a very difficult path, and one that the kid is not currently physically ready for. It's going to be a looooong road for this kid.

I keep thinking about this kid.

Could I have blown the kid's mind if I told him what a Dentist or Lawyer makes, or even what I make for that matter. I could tell him that people with white-collar careers don't have to worry about being side-lined by blowing out a knee, tearing a rotator cuff, or some young stud coming along and stealing all his hard-won glory. Well, sometimes we do worry about that last one, but you come to terms with it pretty fast. :)

Then I realized.... I am sorta being like the Father. I'm thinking of the outliers. I've focused on the money piece. I haven't found out what this kid is actually interested in. I know nothing about his abilities. I know not everyone can be a Dr. or Lawyer, etc.

So, now I wonder, how do you help a kid find the right match. How will I help Jim when it's his turn to pick a path? I keep going back to the cliche, the "Well Rounded Child". Maybe that is the key after-all, more than a cliche - the more experiences you have, the more you can relate to and try on for a fit.

Then again, I think back on my childhood... I had LOTS of experiences. I was opened up to so many different ideas and career choices. So many that I couldn't choose. I fell into my current position because I knew I could do the job, not because I was in love.

I know now that what I really needed was someone to give me a list... A list of careers with what they do, what they typically make, and MOST IMPORTANTLY here are the high-level steps to get there. I didn't have anyone that could help me with this information. I was expected to just sort-of figure it out.

Before you suggest it.... The Guidance Counselors at my school focused on the troubled kids. They either didn't know how, or didn't care, to help me pick a path.

As a result, for several years I've thought of going back to school, so I can be what I want to be when I grow up. :) I still wish I knew what I want to be, and how to get there. Sigh.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Blogher? Maybe?

I'm thinking about going to BlogHer. Not because I'm such a great blogger anymore, not because I have any kind of traffic to speak of here, but because I know sooo many of these Bloggy ladies, and I'm very interested in meeting them.

I feel like I'm a moth, being drawn to it. My one regret? I wish I had spent more time keeping my readers intact. I kinda feels like the "I wish I'd lost weight before this big event", but in this case I wish I'd taken better care of my BLOG instead of my BODY. Well, I would have liked to be more svelt before going to the event, too. But, I think I'm going to go anyway, love handles and all.

I wonder, who of you will be going this year? I sent out a couple of emails to my blog-buddies, but haven't gotten much info back yet. Hopefully that just means that they had GREAT weekends! Ha!


Today we did something novel. We went to the park to a gathering of Miss M's daycare classmates/parents. We had a good time! It was an international lunch, for sure. The other ladies were all from various countries - China, India both North and South. They brought meat and veggie tikkas (patties), somosas (meat-filled pastries), and tofu sushi. I held up the Caucasian/Southerner end of the bargin, I brought fried chicken and HOMEMADE Strawberry Pies with REAL whipped cream. I didn't realize I was a stereotype, but there you go! We had a GREAT lunch. I truly enjoyed myself.

Jim got some playtime in at the park, he and I were alone in that endeavor, since all of the kids were <1. He wanted to go to another park after we left - I think he had a great time. :)

Oh... I do think I scared the other parents just a bit (most of them only have 1 child). I told them it would be 6 months or less before their kids would be ready for the playground equipment. I got back some HUGE stares of incredulousness. One guy actually said, "No, it'll be more like a year or 2". His kiddo was one of the oldest. Sigh. I sure hope he's wrong in his estimate... I'll just have to wait and see. :) They can consider themselves warned! HA!

Good times! Hopefully we'll do it again soon. :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Wonderful World...

Wow... My world is kinda wonderful, and pretty sucktastic at the same time. How's about them apples?

I have several things I've always wanted, more kid-related goodness than I could have imagined, a growing friendship base, and yet my insides are...well... screaming. I find I am, therefore, screaming at my husband and older kid a bit for being a pain in my buttocks. Then, I turn and see Miss M and I just melt. I'm instantly calmed by her innocence and sweetness.

I feel like a fraud when this happens. I feel like a bad Mommy. Apparently I'm just not good at holding in my emotions when I'm being irritated repeatedly. My husband is, I think, trying to work with me. At least he's less bothersome lately. My older kid? Not so much. He's taken on waaay more of the "mommy irritation" work than his fair share lately.

Really, I need Jim to stop baiting me everytime I turn around. He argues with me about his dinner every.freakin'. night. He claims to NOT LIKE his FAVORITE foods. OMG, makes me want to screeeeeam. Sometimes, I do. Like tonight.

I made dinner, took it out of the oven, carefully cooled it for my lovely son, and all the while he was claiming that he doesn't like this food. A WONDERFUL food he's had many times before and LOVES. I knew, as soon as it started, that we'd have another night of me repeating "No, you aren't done until you have had 'n' more bites.", and the all-time classic, "How do you KNOW you don't like it, you haven't even TRIED it?!?!?".

He KNOWS this dance bugs the shit outta me. He KNOWS he's just being a pain. He KNOWS that end the end he'll just end up eating it - at least 1 bite. So why in the hell, after 6 months of this, are we still having to sort out what he will agree to eat? I just want to run screaming from the house.

The worst thing is... He's a wonderful, amazing, sweet, and loving child. He's also a pain in the butt because he's really smart and knows just what he's doing when he pushes all the buttons at once. Sometimes, he even smiles an evil smile when he knows he's got me cornered.

I don't know how I'm going to make it through this point. I told my hubby... It wouldn't be sooooo terribly bad either, except that we have at least 3 more years of this with his sister to look forward to before she's even started pulling this mess. How am I going to make it that long? How will I stay sane?

I have to admit, I think some of my angst is that I'm more mentally tired these days. I changed teams at work recently, and the learning curve is pretty steep. I'm doing to same job, essentially, but I'm having to learn slightly different policies and procedures, as they apply on the new team. It's exhausting having to track down the process for each thing I do. I really need a break.

I want to take a trip overseas. I want to go either to Rome or Ireland. I want to go in late May, but it may already be too late to make that happen. I'm not really sure my passport is current... I need to put that on my checklist.

Hubby is talking about taking me to Chicago in June to celebrate my Birthday, which is this month. He chose June because there is a huge food fest going on, and he KNOWS how I lurve me some great food. Trust me, if Seattle wasn't on that nasty fault line, and right up against that tsunami-generating ocean, I'd be there in a NY minute. No Doubt about it.

Anyway. I'm just rambling. I haven't posted in a while due to my funk and my crazy so-called life.

I am loving on my sweet baby girl. She's 5 1/2 months old now. Ya, I know, where did the time go? Does the 2nd one grow faster or something? Sheesh.

She's doign all kinds of age-appropriate stuff, grabbing toys, chewing toys, babbling, and now she turns when you call her name! YAY! I'm not sure I talked about that here, but we were kinda worried something was very wrong. She was 4 mo old before she made any attempts at all to turn to investigate the sounds around her. It didn't matter what the noise was, or the loudness of the noise - no response. So, Whew! We are so glad that turned out to be nothing, apparently. She seems to have learned her name even! YAY! Oh, and she has juuuust started rolling over. Tonight, I think she figured out she could roll to where she wants to go. Seriously. she looked at a toy of Jim's, flipped and flopped a couple of times and ALMOST got it. She's apparently directionally challenged, but I don't expect it will last long.

I'm sorry I haven't posted lately, hope any of you that are still reading will choose to forgive me. My funk and all the work craziness has kinda made me hide from the world a bit. I've been reading up on you guys though. AND I'm on Twitter - I don't follow during the day usually, but I'm on at night.

Night all.