Monday, December 10, 2007

12-10-07 (Very loooooooooong post)

Maddie is 14 months old today :) We had a good weekend. On Friday night, Gabe's parents watched Maddie for us so that we could go out to dinner and to a movie. Dinner was fabulous. We didn't know where we were going to eat, but we found a really great restaurant and were pleasantly surprised at how much we liked it. Then, we went to see "Fred Claus." What a mistake! The movie itself was pretty funny; at least from what I saw. As we were entering the theater we noticed that the majority of patrons were teens, but not ones that drive. The ones that got dropped off by their mom's or older sisters and they're meeting up with boys that I'm sure their mother's don't know about. It was EYE OPENING! And not in a good way. We saw the worst display of manners in kids and it made me think. It made me wonder what happened to the world? When did teens (who definitely should know better) decide that being mindful of others around them doesn't matter? I know teens are selfish and immature (hey, I was one of them) but I don't remember being a total jerk in public. If you know me at all, I'm always concerned about the type of person Maddie will grow up to be. She's beautiful and I'm always thinking of how I will convey to her that how she looks on the outside needs to match her inside. At the forefront of my mind is the fact that it's my job to teach Maddie to think of others before herself, help when she can (even in the smallest way), and say "please and thank you." As I watched these teen girls wearing low cut shirts and very tight jeans, I thought how scary that age is for their mothers. How do mothers deal with this?!? I'm so very protective of Maddie and seeing these kids with so much freedom... Then, Gabe and I talked and we remembered being out at movies at that age and not acting that way. These kids were on cell phones during the movie, talking, running up and down the aisles, changing seats constantly; needless to say, it was incredibly distracting and Gabe and I finally decided to leave. We didn't ask for our money back-we were just ready to get home. On the walk to the car, Gabe said "That's why Maddie's going to private school." I know that wouldn't solve anything-but it was a funny thought. It made me really see how much things have changed since I was a young teen. Strange. Well, we hadn't been to a movie in probably 6 months and now we remember that 7:30pm movies on weekend nights are not worth it!
On Saturday, Maddie and I drove out to visit Alexa, Andy and Ella at their house. The girls played and had fun and then Maddie and I headed home. Gabe had to work. I'm sure you can imagine how busy he is with the Christmas season here. Sunday was pretty relaxed. Gabe went to open the store for a few hours, Maddie napped and I went to church. We had a great lunch together and later Maddie and I ran to Michael's for more art supplies. When there, we ran into a teacher I used to work with. She was always one of the ones I didn't really get along with. She's very gossipy and nosy. She also sort of turns every conversation into a negative and even though I only talked to her for 10 minutes, her negativity shined through. She made me uncomfortable when I worked with her, and she did it again last night. When we first ran into her, Maddie started crying her eyes out (which is very rare) but they say that children can sense if people are good or not, and I thought that was really telling. Plus, this woman asked me "So, what have you been up to?" And, I sort of looked at Maddie and said "She keeps me pretty busy." She looked back at us and said "What else have you been doing?" And, I felt dumbfounded. Like, what do you think? She has always sort of acted like a martyr for having a child and then choosing to work, but like many of us know in today's world-it's not a competition between working mom outside of the home, or working mom inside of the home. Either way, it's work. Some things never change, but I felt like it was God's way of reminding me why I don't miss working at that school. That's right, I still don't miss it!


Anonymous said...

Here's my view on teens, I didn't really like them when I was one and I think as a parent when your kids are teens that would be the hardest time. Having said that, volunteering once a week with a classroom full of teenagers, some of them are great, really great and will be amazing adults. And I think 90 percent of them seem pretty insecure. That somehow helps to know when you are dealing with their BS. But like adults, there are good ones and there are not so good ones. I think it's kind of fascinating to watch.
I am confused though by one thing, my blogging sister. I do not see Gabe's point, how would kids from a private school be better than kids who go to public school as far as manners and things go? Love ya!

SARAH said...

Thanks for commenting Lizzy. Gabe's point is that someone (parents, school personnel, etc.) have led these teens to believe that their behavior is acceptable; that they don't have to show respect for others around them. Both of us think that there is a serious decline in adolescent behavior. Whether or not they attend public or private school, we don't know. But, there is a very large middle/high school (grades 7-12) around the corner from the theater and odds are that most of those kids were from there. We aren't naive enough to believe that private school is sheltered from these kinds of kids or those attitudes, but we're hopeful that Maddie would attend a school that does not support that kind of behavior. Gabe feels that the kind of values we want to teach Maddie are only available with the personal touch of a teacher and that is not readily available at public schools in our area. At least not for high school.

MOM said...

Interesting update! I really think every generation thinks the next is "so much worse" then their own!! I thought you and your friends were obnoxious at times - just like I know my mom thought I was:) It's something about that age - and I think Elisabeth is right. It's fear. The pressure to fit in, to be cool (whatever that is) etc is a lot for kids. If the boys and girls are meeting up at the movies without parents that can be really exciting! I'm not too old to remember that!!It's a struggle for parents who are both working to provide the kind of attention kids need. Some figure it out and others should never of had kids! We do the best we can and even then, our kids make their own choices. Sarah, I do believe that what you consider important in teaching Maddie - kindness, good manners, etc will serve her well her entire life. But don't be surprised when she is somewhere between 12-16 and she acts in a way that you just can't believe! You will still love her and you will pray that when she gets a little bit older she will remember what she has been taught BUT more importantly, what she has witnessed her mom and dad demonstrating her whole life. The best thing is she has great role models! You and Gabe are both very kind, giving and thoughtful people. She will notice that - trust me! As far as where a child gets educated - again, I think you will find the right environment for Maddie - public or private - when the time comes. I couldn't be more proud of you, Daniel and Elisabeth and you are all products of public school:) There is no one answer that fits for every child but I really believe what a child learns at home is more important than the school they go to. It's great that you and Gabe are talking about these types of issues. Having two parents on the same page when it comes to child rearing practices is HUGE!! What a lucky little girl my granddaughter is. Love you all - MOM

SARAH said...

Thanks Mom. I agree that wherever Maddie goes to school (public or private) probably won't make a difference in terms of the type of person she becomes; I pride myself on trying to teach and show her how to be. One other thing I wanted to say, is that I feel like where we live is so much more "city" like than where I'm from and for that reason, it's just a different environment. It's a big thing to think about and thankfully we have plenty of years before she's a teen! I'm sure she'll be difficult at that teen stage, but that's to be expected. Teens are definitely insecure and the girls at that movie showed all the signs of wanting to fit in and be cool. I think I'm just out of patience for bad behavior-especially after being a teacher.

Anonymous said...

I think I can shed some light on the private school comment. When Gabe was an eighth grader we started looking at high schools both public and prvate. We weren't
in our local high school more than a minute when this big fight broke out in the hall. It was not just a scuffle but loud and pretty violent. A administrator came out took one look at what was going on and went back into his office.(probably to call for help) I'm not sure what the outcome was because I didn't stay to see. But I can remember commenting to Gabe after the incident, That's why your going to private school!"....Well we all know there are great kids and not so great kids in both public and private school but for our family since we could afford it I liked the accountability of private school...even though our tax dollars pay big time for our children's education if you have special needs or concerns you don't always get the feedback or help that you need with your individual children. But anyway that wasn't where I was going with this I just thought it was funny that the comment went full circle from mother to son
Talk to ya

Laura said...

I just ran across this article about babies being able to judge people's character at an early age. I thought it was interesting and on topic with the second part your post!

Anonymous said...

Yes... I know, I am VERY scared for my boys to be teenagers!!!!!!!! It really, truly frightens me!
-Kirstie (commenting a month later :) )
ps- Carole, you thought we were obnoxious? I cannot imagine why :)...