Saturday, January 7, 2012

Ron Paul, Clothing Woes, and Ben's Dreams

Here are the boys from earlier this week, when it was colder. Paul and Will went up to Des Moines to get some firewood from some guy's yard. And then when they got back, ALL the boys unloaded wood.

I unfriended someone yesterday on Facebook. It's this guy I knew from my CBF days at UNI. I just really, really hated hated to do that. But...this guy is a Ron Paul freak. Ok, that's not why I unfriended him. People are free to like who they like in politics. When it comes to Ron Paul, I actually like his fiscal views. But his military views are really scary, in my opinion. He is against any and all military involvement in anything, including Israel. I really believe Iran is shaping itself to be a horrible threat to not only Israel in the very near future, but to the rest of the world. Now - or ever - is not the time to be anti-military! Last May after Bin Laden was taken out a local radio personality had Paul on the air with him and asked him if, had he been president, would he have given the kill order on Bin Laden? And Ron Paul said that he would not have done so. I could never support someone who believes that way.

So anyway, this friend on FB is a radical Ron Paul supporter. The weird thing is, he's not the only one I know. It seems like a lot of Paul supporters are a bit freakish in their devotion. I get the sense that they are following the person, rather than supporting the ideals that he purports. It was not unusual for this guy to put a half a dozen or more posts every day out there that were in support of Ron Paul. He was very disdainful of the other candidates, calling them "neo-cons" (whatever that means). I can take that - as I said, everyone is entitled to their own political beliefs. But this bordered on obsession, I thought.

And then, Thursday, he posted a picture of a little Palestinian girl who had been reportedly decapitated by Israeli forces. It was a disturbing picture to say the least. But more than that, the words bothered me. Underneath the picture were words calling for an end to Israel's defense of their homeland (not that they said it in those terms). I just ignored it at first but as the evening wore on, I couldn't get it out of my mind. I finally decided the next day, that I had had it. I wrote a note to this guy, reminding him that the Bible promises certain destruction and curses for those that do not support Israel. I told him I was not willing to have this stuff coming across my Facebook wall and that I would be de-friending him. And then I did. Of course, he responded with links supposedly supporting his belief that Israel did commit this heinous act. And I'm not saying they didn't. A lot of innocent people get hurt in war. But we do not dare take away our support for Israel in ANY way. It was just one of those moments where I felt convicted enough to take an uncomfortable stand. And now I'm down to 445 FB friends!

On Nov. 30 I ordered an outfit from Chadwick's. I need to back up. Ok, I needed a new dressy outfit this fall and I had the hardest time finding one I liked anywhere. I finally found something I liked in Chadwicks and ordered it, only to have it back ordered twice! I was fearful that one of these days I would get a postcard stating that the item was no longer available. But it finally arrived this week. Ooh, I was excited, because the outfit is so-o-o pretty. It's a long, black pleated skirt with a lettuce hem. The top (they called it a jacket, but I beg to differ - it's a top, not a jacket) is this deep shimmery red with a rosette on the collar. And it was too small! I've noticed in the last year that I am suddenly needing an XL in my clothes instead of the L I've been wearing for decades (thanks to my long arms and broad shoulders). Melissa says it's because I'm middle aged now and my back is spreading. Lovely. Soon, I'll be picking my clothes out of the Womens' department. But I had to order this top by number size, not S,M,L. I picked the wrong number. So, I had to re-order the top in a larger size, which means not only will I be charged for shipping on that, but I'm going to have to pay shipping to send the too-small one back. That is what I do not like about ordering from Chadwicks. They gouge you on shipping. And don't ever order knits from them. They don't last. I'm keeping the skirt, although the elastic is twisted on the top and I'm going to have to cut open the seam to fix that. The quality is definitely not worth the price. If I hadn't been so desperate, I think I would have just said, "forget it." But it's getting harder and harder to find clothing I actually like. So when I do finally find something I like, I end up paying more - especially if I order the wrong size to being with! Oh, and they told me the top is on backorder now until Jan. 21. So I may have my new winter church outfit by March, maybe...if I'm lucky!

Ben is trying out this week for the school musical. This has been a bit of an ordeal for his mother. They have a musical every year. Last year, his vocal teacher called me and asked what I wanted to do. I told her let's not even mess with it. I really cannot see Ben memorizing lines, remembering cues, singing, and acting naturally all at the same time. This is a kid who can't even remember to tuck his underwear inside his jeans when he pulls them on. Well, as soon as school started last August, Ben started telling me that he intended to be in this year's musical. I gave him the vague, "We'll see" that mothers like to use when they don't want to crush their children's dreams right up front. But he didn't forget and proceeded to inform his vocal teacher, his aide, and his homeroom teacher throughout the fall of his intentions. I bet he even told the lunch line ladies and the janitors, too. So now what am I supposed to do?

In November when we had the parent/teacher conferences I chatted with the vocal teacher a bit about this. She assured me that she could find something small for Ben to do so that he would feel a part of the musical, while not being in over his head. I was thinking maybe he'd do something with the stage crew. Well, I get a note this week from Ben's aide letting me know that try-outs are next Tuesday. Try-outs? If Ben has to try out for a position, he won't succeed. Not to mention that the child can NOT have a speaking part since it would involve memorization and all that other stuff that goes with it. I'm torn because I really do want Ben to have new experiences and to have moments of success. They've been so few and far between for him. But at the same time I don't want him to be given a "pity part" and then for him to be a hindrance to rest of the musical members who are trying to put on a quality production. I understand, more than anybody else in the world, that Ben just can't do everything his peers will be able to. I don't expect him to, nor do I expect the world to accommodate him and bend over backwards. Ben has to assimilate to the rest of the world, not vice versa.

So, I wrote an email to the vocal teacher last night expressing some of these concerns. To my surprise, she responded right away. She was very kind and explained that there are actually more students this year than there are speaking parts. While she would like Ben to read some of the lines at the try-outs, it doesn't mean that he will necessarily have to speak during the musical. She told me that he will always be paired with another student, no matter what he ends up doing in the musical. And, she said, Ben's classmates are very aware and very accommodating of his special needs. They like him and they want to see him try. So, with my heart in my throat and reluctant feet, I'll be going with Ben to try-outs on Tuesday night. Who am I to stand in the way of his dreams when he's being so encouraged by everyone else in his vocal class? And then it looks like every Thursday night from now until mid-March, we'll be taking him to rehearsals. That, in and of itself, will be a big thing. His aide won't be there. We're welcome to stay and I think we will at first and maybe we'll end up staying for all the rehearsals. I don't know. As stretching as this is going to be for Ben, I have a feeling it's going to be even more of a stretch for his mama. But you also know who will be sitting in the audience crying when he does well, don't you? Yeah, I thought so...

Well, I made it through my list of things I wanted to write about. Paul and Will are back from their unexpected job. I suppose everyone is going to want to eat soon. David is hovering over me, wanting to know if he can have the computer, so my time here is finished. Maybe by the time I write again we'll have some snow!

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