My days are not my own right now, too much going on in this little house! Here's what's happening:
The boys got their GEDs! YAY! In the accompanying cover letter, Governor Beshear writes, "It takes a great deal of study and preparation, as well as persistence, to reach this goal." Really? The boys have not been engaged in formal study for three years. They needed no review or study to pass. Not to take anything away from them: they are clearly above average and are among the nicest, funniest, kindest teens you would ever hope to meet in your lifetime. Really. But if the goal is a diploma so you can get hired or seek higher education, I'm wondering why anyone would spend 12 years in jail school to get one. Why not take the pre-tests, see what you have to learn, learn it, then take the GED? Badda bing. The only thing that required persistence was dealing with the many bureaucratic hoops between them and the test.
The boys got jobs. YAY! They are working at a local restaurant. Ryan is washing dishes and Mo is the fry cook. Dishwashing is the only job available to Ryan until he is 18 (in two months) at which time he will move to the line (cooking). Good, because the dishwasher is the last person to leave the restaurant at 2am and taxi service is currently provided by the 'rents. Restaurant work is hard. After the first couple of days, Mo said, "I hope we last the week." Ha ha. I told them that, from now on, if they are jobless, no internet. Don't quit one job without having another. We've talked a lot about the job thing: yeah, it's hard. Some harder than others. There are responsibilities and people you like and dislike. The goal is to have a satisfying job. Right now, it's all about the money for them. It's fun (fun? what am I, a masochist?) watching the layers of that onion peel away! The first layer should be loosening up sometime after the first paycheck, after they see how much Uncle Sam steals from a dishwasher. The only job dispensation is school: work fits around class. Can we think of anything to get them more interested in higher education than working in a restaurant kitchen? Would do it for me.
Speaking of which, I'm pretty sure I'm accepted into acupuncture school. YAY! And on the Fed's dime. Yeah, I'm libertarian and deplore the stimulus, etc. But why should the banksters get it all in bonus packages? I'm dipping in as long as it's available. Hoping it doesn't run out before I graduate.
Mo got his driver's permit. YAY! And was required to register for the Selective Service -- The Draft -- as a condition of that permission. BOO! He's a good driver. He'd make a shitty soldier. I can't imagine him pulling the trigger on another person, much less one who was only a threat because Mo was trespassing on that person's land looking to inflict harm. There are a lot of high school edjikadud people who think this is just dandy. Not that there will ever be a draft. The Military Industrial Complex knows it would bring an end to the wars: mothers and potential soldiers won't stand for it. The MIC can't risk that. Talk about something being all about the money. The whole thing is so transparently corrupt, I can't believe anyone still believes bombing peasants in petroleum-rich third world countries has anything at all to do with national security. Hey, there's a sucker born every minute. I used to be one.
Right after he registered, the army sent Mo a Welcome To The Fold letter extolling the virtues and benefits of being all you can be, along with some really swell brochures. I'm going to burn it all in effigy attached to a group shot of Obama, Bush and Cheney laughing in front of Goldman Sachs.
Mom is living here. With us. For now. Which exclamatory remark to use is still under review. She has too much hip pain at night to sleep without painkillers, which make her unsteady when she first wakes up. It sucks for her and she just can't live alone right now. I'm thrilled to get the chance to feed her good, healthy food! How's it going? So far, so good. We are both on our best behavior. I'm hoping I grow into a mature, emotionally healthy adult really, really soon. Like right now would be good. And the milestone we thought would be a long way in the future...
Two days ago, Hal's sister Bridgid died. She was 56, a year older than me, with a husband and two young teens. We are all in shock, can hardly believe it. She found out she had stage 4 lung cancer last summer. She had surgery and was doing great, at home, feeling good. About a month ago, she called to say things weren't so great after all, but she was optimistic. Two weeks later, she was in hospice care. Wednesday, the day before she died, she spoke to Peg about having Thanksgiving together. We're pretty sure Bridgid knew the end was nearer than she let on, but you'd never have known it talking to her (like you would've known it talking to me were I in those shoes. OMG, can you hear it?) She was cheerful and looking forward, like always. A hugely sad loss in our family. When you get old like us Hal, family and friends you love die. It's one of those horrible certainties. One of those things you just can't do anything about except accept it. I hate that. I wish I could sign a petition stopping that insanity. Why did Bridgid die and not Dick Cheney? Seriously, I wonder that. There is little understanding or comfort to be had at this moment. Except in relishing completely the family and friends we have right now. With that in mind, I'm going to go fix Mom something to eat, then hang out with her while she eats it. Then again, my cooking is really not something to look forward to. Maybe I'll take her to the mall instead. Have a great weekend, everybody. Eat well. Love the ones you're with.