I do my best to encourage respect, self-sufficiency and responsibility in my children. I encourage them to seek out role-models in our family and our community, and to learn from them.
I sent the Edge down to deliver a letter to the Escambia County School District's Office of School Choice yesterday. An angry, gum-chewing woman refused to take the letter from her. "You have to have your parent with you."
So, today, I accompanied the Edge down to the same office and stood next to her while she handed the same gum-chewer (the way she was smacking, it may have been yesterday's gum, too!) the same letter. The woman took it from her, stamped it, copied it, and handed it back to her.
While I was there, I had some questions. The lady we needed to see was not in. Nor was anyone else who could help us. "You'll have to come back Monday, " smack, smack, smack.
"What would be a good time on Monday?" I asked. "Can I make an appointment? I don't want to miss them all again."
"Well, " smack, smack, "they're here EVERY day from 7:30 until 4:30. . ." she said, as though my question irritated her.
I looked at my watch. 11:30. Smack, smack.
"She was even ruder to me yesterday, " the Edge commented once we were back in the car. "People think that they can just be as rude as they want to teenagers and no one is going to do anything."
"Yep, life's not fair. As long as you keep doing the right thing, though, that's all that matters."
"But you would think that the people who work for the school system, where they deal with kids, would show a little respect!"
"Yeah," I relplied, "You'd think. . ."
The conversation continued and drifted into the subject of texting while driving. She was telling me that her friend thinks because she has her keypad "memorized" that she is safe to text and drive.
"Which probably explains the inordinate number of 'dings' on her car!"
About that time, we looked over at the sheriff's deputy in the car next to us at the stoplight. "OMG!" the Edge exclaimed, "MOM! She's TEXTING!"
The light changed, and the deputy pulled ahead a little, still texting. She continued along Davis Highway driving thirty miles an hour and swerving from one side of the lane to the other - driving with her elbows while concentrating on her flying thumbs.
Yes, it's a difficult thing to teach your children about the importance of self-sufficiency, respect and responsibility. We parents have to set the example for them - those "role-models" are becoming harder to find.
6 months ago