Mike lost his job last week. He had worked for the same company for 15 1/2 years, but they had gone through different owners and numerous management plans. I think he's had something like 13 supervisors in 15 1/2 years. He got an ok severance, and that combined with our emergency fund a la Dave Ramsey means for now we are kind of good with this whole thing. Almost all of Mike's stress has been eliminated with one fell swoop. The mantra is, if unemployment continues through September that will be bad, but for now we are enjoying it. I think a point of view about what's really important helps in this case too. My brother, Rob, is still terribly sick. His treatment is working pretty well, but he has lost tons of weight and is in almost constant pain. This makes it hard for him to be upbeat and upbeat is pretty helpful when you are fighting cancer. Please keep him in your prayers. So when compared to fighting for your life, the summer off is really a minor event and a pretty good deal.
Mike's laptop came from work, so no more work means no more laptop. Combine that with a virus on Madi's computer and I'm often third in line to get on my own computer. I've been mulling over a blog post for a few days. It involves "worldliness" and guarding what you are exposed to. I come from the northeast. For the majority of my life "worldly" has been a compliment. As in your kids know so much about so many different topics, they are very worldly. In the southeast (both in Catholic and Protestant circles) worldly is often a negative term. "She dresses so worldly." (as in immodestly), or "We only listen to Christian music, not worldly music." Like we should be in the world and not of the world. This idea leads me to a conversation I had recently. Two adult women were talking about being mindful of what kind of TV shows they expose themselves to. As in not watching shows that glorify sin so as to not compromise their principles. This was kind of a kick in the face for me as my 11 year old is now the one to often turn on the DVRed episodes of Friends. Yikes! There's all kinds of inappropriateness on Friends ! I did tell Jake that watching too much of that was not a good idea, and while I wasn't going to send him out of the room when someone else was watching it, from now on he should pick something else to watch on his own. I am a big fan of teaching by pointing out what other people are doing wrong, so we will not be eliminating trashy-ish stuff all together anytime soon. I remember too many conversations with parents who didn't read Curious George to their kids in fear that their kids might turn into bad little monkeys, and all kinds of people banned Junie B. Not that I'm comparing Junie B's antics to Ross and Rachel's, but so far I'm pretty good with the way my kids are turning out so I'm not ready for any drastic changes. Here's the thing. I think sometimes banning less appropriate stuff turns into a whole holier than thou kind of thing. Ross and Rachel aren't bad people, they are making bad choices, just like George did (the curious one I mean, but George Costanza also made his share of bad choices... and Jake knows all about those too). I'm not looking for anyone to agree with me on this, what I'm saying is we all have to draw our own lines in the sand regarding appropriate and inappropriate. I have to say that it's fairly comfy sitting here having raised one child to the ripe old age of 18. I certainly don't want to come off a smug or all 'you should parent like I do'-ish (those are my least favorite people after all), I'm just saying teaching right doesn't always have to mean never being exposed to any wrong. Jonathan and Chloe just spent the morning looking at their Disney pins and deciding which ones they want to trade tomorrow, then they picked up Jake from VBS and drove him to Kids' College. I think we are doing ok. Our kids do live in the world. They are going to continue to be exposed to all kinds of people who make all kinds of bad choices. I think it's easier to reach out to those people in love and charity when we already know that we still love Elaine even though she cleaned out the whole west side of Today sponges.