Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Security issues and happy news

Mama mia! Is there no end to the nationwide press of articles about violence in schools? If I hear one more person say, "Not in this's really good," I might scream. Actually, it would be more likely to say that I might start laughing hysterically. Tonight while waiting for my sons in Scouts, I woman was telling me that the local high school (just a very few years ago) had to require every student to totally register anew every year because the Crips and Bloods were sending 21-year-olds down to register so they could get "in" with the "rich" kids. Yup, this is the second wealthiest high school in the area, or so I'm told. I had to be told. (Just in case you're wondering, we live in a much older area of that particular high school---read "Not wealthiest or even close." Good, safe area but so far from exclusive it's laughable. I'll just say that if we ever have to send our kids to public school, I'll get a job if need be to pay the private school tuition!

My husband has been itching to get a handgun for security (this is the longest he has ever gone without weapons---our entire married life), and I have decided that I would far rather buy a living shotgun instead of a real handgun (that I'd probably shoot my foot off with by accident). You may wonder what a living shotgun is. That is, a dog. Living shotgun is my term. I sincerely doubt I could ever shoot someone no matter how much adrenalin is running, but it would take nothing for me to turn it over to man's best friend! The $800-$1000 price tag for a German Shephard puppy seems daunting, but then again, so do the prices of handguns (at least the ones my non-violent husband prefers.) For now, I need to work on our already-owned overgrown pup. The size is definitely on his side. Lately, we've let him have the run of the house while we are gone (and he only got into the garbage once (when I didn't take it out first.)

In case any of you are wondering, we really do live in a good neighborhood. We have been known to go on a mini-trip for a couple of days to return to an open garage door, unlocked door leading from the house to the garage, no dog on premises guarding it (that would have been animal cruelty since we were gone), and no mishaps. It actually happened. Once. Never, ever again. Wealthy, this area is not. Safe, it is. Unsafe, and we would move. Immediately. No matter what the market was like.

On the non-violent side, which is where we conduct our lives, my boys completed their First Class Board of Review in Boy Scouts. Hooray! This is one we all worked for. Their troop severely limits the number of overnight campouts 11-year-old Scouts can go on so them missing one for illness was really bad news. They had to have 3 to attain First Class rank. Jim worked the lines and got an emergency campout approved so they could get it. Since they were the only ones that showed up---amazing how that works when you schedule it for a school night---they got a real workout. They chose their tent site, set up their tent, selected and cooked their dinner, and then slept outside through a rainstorm. They got a ton more experience on this one than on both the others they attended put together.

The other "hard" requirement they had to complete was to invite another "eligible" boy, meaning between 11 and 18 who was not already involved with BSA or at least inactive in a troop, to attend with them and/or join up. I truly did not expect this to be hard. True, they don't go to school with 500 others, but I figured that they could invite someone they knew. I was wrong. This was very hard for them. They were scared to death of getting a no. Never mind that we kept assuring them that it really didn't matter what the boy said, just so long as they got a chance to say it. This afternoon at 4:30, they still had not done it, so we packed everyone up to go to yet another taekwondo class in hopes there would be an "eligible" young man there.

Wonderful things happened. Knowing my sons' innate shyness, I chatted with a few moms for their okay and help. I got a bonus. One of the moms has formed a co-op with a friend of hers that is everything I have dreamed of. Okay, I'm sure it isn't heaven, but it's as close to it as I ever hope to find here on Planet Earth. And without me angling for it (in fact, I had no idea about it), she suggested that maybe I might be interested in joining them next year. It was all I could do from falling down on my knees right then and there. I am not only thrilled with the possibility, but very grateful because I have been looking so hard at all the co-ops in the area and not really liking what I found. This is exactly what I have been praying and searching for my boys.

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