here’s hoping

Today my daughter went on a field trip to our Kentucky State Capitol.  Apparently high schoolers take field trip just like first graders.  She had a great time, even getting to pretend she was the President of the Senate, complete with gavel.  I think it was a Leslie Knope moment for her [you’ll only get that if you’re a Parks & Rec fan].

I’m especially proud of daughter Allie today, not because of the senate situation, but because she went off the reservation a bit.  When the bus pulled into a McDonald’s for lunch, she and her friends decided to ask if they could eat at the Mexican restaurant next door.  It’s a small parental victory for me for a few reasons:
#1  I dislike McDonald’s.  Allie and I are vegetarians, and how can a vegetarian be comfortable at McDonald’s?  No offense if you are comfortable there, it’s just they go through a great deal of feed lot cows, etc.  But that’s for another day.  Anyway, Allie loves french fries, and I’m extremely surprised she didn’t indulge.  I am happy for her stamina.

#2  I like Mexican food and would choose it over any other 98% of the time.  And Mexican restaurants always have something for a vegetarian.  The simplicity of beans and a tortilla is lovely.  But that’s how I was raised [a stone’s throw from the border, as I annoyingly like to remind my children].  Nevertheless [I love that word], I’m glad she was willing to do something different.

#3  I had sent Allie on this trip with $7 for lunch.  It’s all I had in my wallet and I figured enough for a field trip lunch in Frankfort, Kentucky.  She eats a rather small packed lunch everyday at school, so I believed whole heartedly she’d be fine with this amount.  Well, due to the Mexican lunch, she ended up throwing in a few dollars of her own.  I think she ordered off the dinner menu.  I guess she’s not familiar with a Mexican menu’s a la carte.  Oh, and she also ordered a milkshake.  So, I’m glad she took along some of her own cash.  I think maybe, just maybe it helped her realize the reality of what things cost and our choices related to them.  [wilted salad from the McDonald’s dollar menu or enchilada platter?]

Incidentally, after their lunch, the girls decided to visit a Goodwill store nearby.  Whether their teachers knew about this, I’m not altogether sure.  What brings me joy, is there was a day not long ago, when Allie strongly disliked thrift stores.  She didn’t like to frequent them as I do.  I’m a thrift store junkie.  What’s not to love?  Allie prefers mall stores and Target and the usual teen girl scene.  But lately, she’s changed her tune.

There are things you hope your children pick up from you and things you hope they don’t.  I’ve found that how we handle different situations depends on just that, different situations.  My views on raising teenagers are different today, because I actually have teenagers, than they were when I had toddlers.  While Allie agreeing with me that thrift stores are awesome is not a moral issue, I do realize that her making purchases there will save her money, compared to buying new at the mall.  

Basically, we raise our kids in hopes they’ll eventually learn to make the right choices.  Whether it’s  where to eat lunch today or where to attend college in the fall.  For years, we make most of the choices for them.  Where they’ll live, what they’ll wear, what we’re willing to pay for.  And we don’t always know if our decisions are correct.  I will never have a one hundred percent confirmation that our cross town move was the right thing to do.  Understandably, there are those who would say it was a ridiculous and even dangerous choice.  People can always question other parents’ motives and reasoning.  And there are no guarantees.  There are proverbs and suggestions and stories to refer back to.  But nobody can offer you a sure thing.  Because there comes a point, no matter how perfect our parental choices, when the kids start making their own.

I’ve quoted him before in a blog post, and while he’s a fictional tv character, he does offer truth:

“You fake your way through it. And hopefully you

don’t raise a serial killer.”

That, my friends, was said by Phil Dunphy of the program Modern Family, regarding raising children.

While yes, there are some guidelines in the bible, and there are books out there and child psychologists with sound advice, parenting can be a big, {here’s hoping} experience.

Here’s hoping………
they don’t get lost
they like at least one green vegetable
they don’t become a bully or get bullied
they don’t take themselves too seriously
they take you seriously
they don’t get emotionally involved with a thug
and on and on

While we haven’t “faked our way through it” all, I’ll admit there’s more faking than I’d prefer.  More than anything, there’s a lot of {here’s hoping} they learn to make the right choices.  And a lot of prayer.  And more hoping.

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