A whole bunch about us you may have never wanted to know.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

So different

I've had a few experiences this week that just make me grateful for where I'm at and scared for what my kids will have to experience in their lives!

I spent many hours at the junior high school last week. I helped with the book fair a couple of days, and it was also Becca's school play, Mulan (more on that later). So, between the two, I spent hours at the school watching students and teachers.

I noticed at the book fair that one teacher brought in several of her classes. She was diligently going around to all of the students watching them and making sure none were taking anything. I was shocked when they left and she made them all pat themselves down. If they had a lump in their pocket she made sure they pulled it out to show her. (Glad she wasn't my jr high teacher as I sometimes kept feminine items in my pockets!) I was just thinking it was so unnecessary -- kids need to be shown trust! I felt like I'd rather have one person steal something than humiliate the whole class like that. (I was relieved when the parent next to me said, "I don't think that's necessary." I was glad someone else felt the same way!)

It was so easy to see that these kids are at such a difficult age! You could see some acting a particular way because they thought it was tough or cool. I guess as parents we just forget what these kids can go through all day! As I went one night to pick up from the play, I noticed a group of girls sitting in the back laughing and not paying attention. I noticed right away they were acting that way to impress each other. One of them pointed to her cousin in the play and said, "But really, she IS cool." The others laughed, to which the first responded, "Yeah, she is a nerd!" How sad!

The cast -- especially the chorus of extras -- came in often from the back where these girls were sitting. When they insulted one of the cast members right before she went on (to her face), I told them if they were going to be rude they should just leave. Grrrr! I could tell it hurt the girl's feelings, but she was too timid to say anything to these intimidating girls. It made me so sad for those who are too timid to stand up for themselves! (And actually even that anyone should have to!)

I've never worried about Becca in this regard, because she is very strong-willed and outgoing. I think no matter how rude and "scary" any 14-year-old is, they just aren't going to be scary for Becca after she's feared for her life with drug addicts coming in and out of her house. She is also willing to stand up for anyone, no matter how unpopular, which is a great gift she has. Once in guitar class when a boy knocked over a bunch of guitars and stands, other kids started laughing. Becca stood up and said, "Stop laughing and help him!" She then went up and helped him, which silenced the others in the class.

I sure hope my other kids get this fiesty courage to stand up for right, but I know I was a lot more timid than that in junior high school! I don't yet know how bold my other kids will be in these types of situations, so this gave me yet another fear for their futures!

Another "different" moment we had this week was going to the jail for fingerprinting. (We're starting the adoption process for Becca -- more on that later, too -- so we have to get criminal background checks.) We went into the office, and the tension there was so thick it was just silent. There were a bunch of people paying bail -- I guess Saturday morning is busy with people bailing out people who partied a little too hard Friday night ...

When it was down to us and a family who said they were also there for fingerprinting, we started chatting. Another couple came in for something with the jail, and it was so sad to hear their heart-breaking story about their 25-year-old who is addicted to drugs and in jail for shooting someone, and their 20-year-old who is on a mission. They raised them the same way, and yet one made good choices and the other didn't ... and the one who didn't is affecting the whole family to the point the 20-year-old thinks he should come home from his mission. It's heart-breaking how addiction makes people so selfish and dumb!

Anyway, when it was finally our turn (after waiting for more than an hour), we stumped the sheriffs. They generally do fingerprinting on a computer now and print out cards for people (like the family ahead of us applying for visas). However, our form had a specific place it wanted our prints, and they weren't used to this. They called their Sergeant to come do it since it was so unusual. He then had to track down an ink pad since they hadn't used one in so long. Then he made Paul practice before doing it on the form since he hadn't fingerprinted anyone that way for so long. It was hilarious!

Paul got a kick out of where they took us to do the fingerprinting -- their "entry-way" where they bring criminals in. The walls were padded, and the benches had rings with handcuffs attached to them. I must say that was a sight Paul and I had never experienced before ... and hope to never again! :)

In any case, being in these two places (which may not seem very different in their intimidation factor for some kids!) made me grateful that I survived jr high and that I NEVER have to go back!!!


the Rowleys said...

JR. High and High school were no fun for me as well. THank goodness it is over. As for the fingerprinting, that is funny. I actually did fingerprinting on the electronic devices, where the finger is scanned and the computer shows the print (I did it for all the people applying for jobs at the airport) it was fun. :)

Theresa C said...

I never want to repeat Jr. High again either. (Although Mr. Kennedy was pretty entertaining). I had to be fingerprinted so I could volunteer at my daughter's school, and that was definitely an interesting experience! I heard and saw things that I hope to never see again in real life. Good luck with the adoption process. I hope it goes smoothly :)

Lizzylou said...

I'm so glad I'm not in Jr. High again. Kids sure can be cruel! Good job to Becca for standing up for others, and herself!