Travel Section

(Written 1/13/2013, published 1/17)

So much has happened already in 2013 that I am not sure where to start.

So let's start with the now. Today is Sunday morning and I woke up in my bedroom - by my bedroom I mean the room I had as a teenager in my parents' (now father's) house. The house is almost identical to when I lived here as a child. Some furniture changes through the years - but the livingroom walls are filled with bookshelves with hard-covered coffee table art books (Mexico, Ibiza, an entire shelf of Frank Lloyd Wright and classics of Western Art - Monet, DaVinci, Uffizi - and that's just what I car read from the middle of the room). On the top shelf, no, shelves, apparently my father has collected a Churchill section. Yesterday he opened our Christmas presents, and this section has a new book. A memoir written by Churchill's daughter. Truly my parents could have saved a fortune on college by having their kids simply read the books already in the home! (I'll have to work on the marketing of this concept: "Sorry, kids, private college is now $60K per year, so instead of Yale, you are going to go live with Grandpa. It won't be as much fun, but you'll learn just as much.") And we haven't even gotten to the basement with an amazing collection of World War II history, medicine and a complete collection of Agatha Christie. Back up in the livingroom, they have all the classics, too, of course: just behind the TV is the complete Charles Dickens. From the aging red binding gold lettering pops out. A good student would turn off the gun control debate on ABC's This Week and open a book.

2013 is going to be a year of changes. Big ones.

I worry for the culture of our schools after the shootings in Connecticut. Will security take up time and resources that could be better spend focused on academics? So far I haven't heard any of the ridiculous talk of arming teachers, but if I do, it would be a no-brainer... I'd pull my kids. The last thing we need is to PUT guns where kids can access them. And I don't really think Annie Oakley needs to be running classroom management with a bunch of riled up first graders.

More realistically, I worry for our kids - I've had several instances of callousness in the schools. One teacher called my daughter lazy when her friend asked for the homework when she was home with a stomach bug last week. Next time someone in our household is puking, I swear I'm going to find his coffee mug and spread the love! How come for every teacher that has shown love and respect for my kids, there has been a jerk who makes a comment like this to one of mine or someone else's kids? I so wish complaining to the school about his rude behavior would have any form of consequence... if she were skipping, it would be one thing, but puking is sick. And sick kids deserve to get the chance to make up their homework without being mocked!

But my biggest distractions are of thoughts about myself. How selfish? You would be thinking and worrying too. I'm heading back to full time work - commute, projects to manage, much to learn - next week. Parenting logistics will take a back burner as I play catch-up to my friends on the career track.

I've tried various forays back into the working worlds: businesses that have failed, part time work in various places. Even a few full-time, albeit short-term, gigs. 

But for now, I'm going to enjoy a few days with just me and my Dad. In the house where all my dreams started. I've always wanted to redo college now that I can appreciate it. Maybe I'll just stay here and read..... I'll start with one of my Dad's favorite books. "A short history of nearly everything."


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