We parents have to start early, teaching our children all sorts of things. Potty training, "please" and "thank you," sharing, no hitting. As they grow older, the lessons grow more complex. Time management. Delayed gratification. Community involvement. Dealing with disappointment.
Before I get started on today's column I want to let everyone know about a wonderful new development involving Hall County Schools. Earlier this spring, writer Tack Cornelius and I each submitted columns bemoaning the lack of speech and debate programs in local high schools. I'm thrilled to report that next year Johnson High School will offer just such a class, led by veteran teacher Charity Wang. Kudos, Knights!
It's that time of year. Time for me to start writing a high school commencement address, just in case I'm tapped. Not that I ever have been, mind you, but one never knows.
The human brain is wired to seek patterns. That's why we see the man in the moon and Jesus on a grilled cheese sandwich. Our subconscious mind takes the unfamiliar and tries to make it familiar.
My husband and I have a mixed marriage. The disparity isn't race, religion, politics or college football loyalties. It's not even that I'm a lark, up before the sun, and he's an owl, wide awake until there's nothing on TV but infomercials.
It just hit me the other day as I drove down Green Street. I spotted the hill covered in daffodils on the corner at Ridgewood and realized winter is over.
Back in January of 2009, I wrote a column about attending a debate tournament with a busload of kids from North Hall High School. At the time, my daughter, Rachel, was a freshman, just cutting her allegorical teeth on individual event competitions such as humorous and dramatic interpretation.
The little boy tagged along with his father to a meeting held at an all-you-care-to-eat buffet restaurant. I guess I could describe him as stout or portly or chunky but, truth be told, the child was obese. He was probably 60 or 70 pounds overweight. His Spiderman T-shirt strained across his belly and his neck had disappeared into his chins. He had breasts.
The Internet has changed and enhanced my life in so many ways. For one thing, I met my husband there way back in 1992, when America Online was still running version 1.1.
I don't think it will come as a surprise to anyone who knows me when I say I'm an unrepentant eavesdropper. I like to think it's because I'm a passionate observer of the human condition. My daughter says it's because I'm nosy.
It's the eve of Christmas Eve, the fourth night of Hanukkah. It's nice when the two holidays fall close together on the calendar and everybody is feeling festive at the same time.
When I lived in Columbus (that's Georgia, not Ohio), I subscribed to the local newspaper, the Ledger-Enquirer.
The problem is very real. Sales of live-cut Christmas trees have been falling for years. Fresh-tree sales declined from 37 million in 1991 to 31 million in 2007. Meanwhile, artificial tree sales nearly doubled to 17.4 million between 2003 and 2007.
Our daughter, Rachel's, senior year is here at last. It's been a flurry of SAT Saturdays and scholarship application deadlines. Every day the mailbox is full of brochures and invitations from colleges as far away as Maine and Hawaii.
Last week I bumped into the daughter of an acquaintance. I hadn't seen her since she was in middle school and, now, here she was with a brand new baby. The infant was adorable, dressed in a camouflage-patterned green sleeper and a white hat.