Tattoos On This Town

I feel like I tripped into and are stumbling through October.  When did it get here and where did it go?  I know it’s only half way over, but jeez! We have eleven weekends until Christmas.  Eleven!  I know … eye roll time.  Who’s ready for the holidays?  Not me!  I have three birthdays to get through and that’s not considering Halloween and Thanksgiving thrown in the mix.  And then it appears that at some point I sat down and made appointments for all those little things like physicals, dental cleanings and eye exams all in one day. Well the appointments aren’t all on the same day, but I’m pretty certain I hung up with one and called the next, and since I keep these appointments like clock work, each year they fall around the same time.  That means that during the month of October, I’m running either myself or one of the boys to an appointment.  I know I’ve said over and over that I love living in my small town.  I do! Except not so much right now.  Driving an hour to a doctor visit can be such a pest.  I feel like I’ve been living in my car.  And it’s not just the doctors visit and the impending holidays.  We had the ALS walk in Lexington, which is an hour drive there, then an hour drive home, and then another almost hour drive to my sisters for a cookout, only to have to return to Lexington the following day to visit the Apple Store to fix my husbands phone because that’s the only appointment date they had available.  I spent the following weekend driving both day’s to my sisters so that my brother-in-law could attend to some things he needed to do.  Did I mention that I also attended a visitation and funeral last week … another forty minutes away?  In the meantime, my youngest child, who suffers from migraines, has been sent home sick from school three times.  Drive … drive …drive.  Oh and my dear wonderful hubby wants to go away for the weekend. So very thoughtful of him.  Really it is 🙂  It’s a three and a half hour drive, but I’m actually looking forward to this one.  Basketball season is almost here too.  Big Blue Madness is next weekend.  Yep, you know where I’ll be.  We don’t have any tickets for the season yet, but we usually squander a few from my husband’s cousin who holds season passes.  Basketball also means practice for my boys and then games.  I don’t mind, I don’t.  I love watching them play … but you see where I’m going with this, right?  My time in the car doesn’t seem to be cutting down anytime soon.  And, my seventh grader wants me to chaperone his Halloween dance.  Huh?  Yes, my preteen wants me to attend his dance and keep an eye out.  I’m still a little shocked, but also giddy.  I’m pretty sure I would have cringed if my mom had shown up at a school dance.  I even mentioned this to him …. “Isn’t it kind of uncool to have your mom there?”  He shrugged his shoulders and said, “I don’t care.”  I love that kid!  And while we are speaking of my children, I have to say that I’m a pretty proud momma this week.  While picking up my sick little guy from school, his teacher raves about him.  Yeah, I know teachers do that a lot, but it still makes you feel good.  Have I mentioned he’s the top reader in his class?  Actually, he’s the top reader in his grade … district wide (granted we have a small district.)  He was recognized for this at a reading celebration last year.  Okay, now I’m bragging a little, but I don’t talk about them on here often, so I figured I might as well fill you full now.  On to my big guy.  Yeah, he’s a reader too.  He brought home a letter this week stating he’d been invited to take the ACT due to his scores on a standardized test.  I bet you can guess what subject … Reading.   Now before you start saying a seventh grader has no business taking a college entry exam, let me say my piece.  I know for the last few minutes I’ve highlighted my kids achievements, but that doesn’t mean that they are just super smart, wonderful kids all the time.  They are exactly what I just said, kids … and they don’t just sit around with a book in their hand every spare minute of the day, being the precious babies that we all wish them to be.  They play, they get an attitude, and they struggle with other subjects like most kids do.  In fact, my oldest is horrible at math.  I know this, his dad knows it, he knows it.  We don’t try to pretend that it isn’t a weakness for him.  We just try to encourage him to give it his all and to attempt to help him the best we can.  In fact, aside from reading and science, he doesn’t have a whole lot of interest in school.  Which really concerns me. We’ve already started talking college.  And at the ripe old age of twelve, he’s been very clear that he has no intentions of furthering his education past high school.  Every time I think about it, my stomach knots tightly, because really, that’s an unacceptable thought process to me.  I can’t fathom not having some kind of aspirations in life.  However, being the good parent that I am, I try not to completely flip out when I hear those words and instead, I throw encouraging thoughts about things he might enjoy doing.  When he was four, he told me he just wanted to grow up so that he could get tattoos and ride motorcycles … yeah, great parenting, right?  A few years ago, he wanted to be a professional basketball player.  This one at least got me excited since I knew he’d be have to attend attend college first.  That was until he said, that he and his wife could live in his dorm room. WHAT??? Wife?  That led into a whole other discussion.  Then he wanted to work where his dad works, which isn’t terrible.  My husband and I are very lucky with the jobs that we have so close to home.  Unfortunately, the reality is that there just isn’t that many.  Last year he wanted to be a farmer.  Again, it brought a smile to my face.  I’m thinking big agriculture stuff here … but no.  He just wants a couple of cows and horses, maybe a few pigs and chickens with a spot to have a garden.  Sounds splendid, but I’m pretty sure it’s not going to pay the electricity.  On our way to a doctor’s appointment the other day, he tells me he thinks he wants to drive an eighteen-wheeler.  A very long silence followed after that.  Please don’t think I’m degrading anyone’s profession.  I’m not.  I’m a parent who wants her children to excel and do better in life than what she’s done.  When I explained to him that you’re away from home a lot and that you really don’t get to see very much while driving a truck, my son sort of seemed to understand what I was saying and replied with “I’m definitely getting my CDL’s, though.”  
As you can see, he’s just a simple kid and although I do have worries that maybe he won’t get that itch to do more, I also have to say that it makes me proud that he’s content with and okay with his life and seems comfortable with what he wants.  He’s not a leader by any means, but he also doesn’t follow with what others do just because it’s the thing to do.

So back to our letter about the ACT test.  My initial thought …. I’m not sure this is a good idea.  I mean, it’s a hard test and it’s not really necessary at this age.  So, I did my research.  Approximately 40,000 seventh graders take the test each year.  I have no clue how many kids are in this age range, so I’m not sure if that’s a large number or small number.  I also read all the pro’s and con’s of taking it so early and discussed this with my son. When we were done, I said “What do you think?” His reply, “This just might change my whole outlook on going to college.”  I smiled … that’s my boy 🙂
Throughout all of this, I remind myself that he’s only twelve.  I try to remember what I wanted to be when I was twelve and I’m pretty sure that I didn’t have much concerns past playing sports and cheerleading.  So even though he’s not thinking along the lines that I am, at least he’s actually considering his future.  Maybe he will get those tattoos he wanted and maybe he will or he won’t leave this town and go on to college.  He has plenty of time to decide, but yeah, if taking the ACT jump starts the idea of him thinking about it, by all means, he will take the ACT.   Prepping for this means my life just got a little more chaotic …  Yes, I know everything I’ve said above isn’t really out of the ordinary.  It’s a part of being a parent and having a life.  Some commute longer to work every single day than those pesky doctors visits that I mentioned, so I know how lucky I am.  I’ve had a couple of busy weeks, but you know what … I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Besides …  when you get to enjoy a view like this, it makes it all worth while. autumn

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6 thoughts on “Tattoos On This Town

  1. Somehow I missed this post in my feed! That tends to happen with Friday/Saturday/Sunday posts though, because I check it on Monday mornings and it goes on for paaaaages lol.

    I had the chance to take the SAT when I was in 7th grade. I don’t think it made a huge impact in the long run, but it didn’t hurt either. If anything, it was just good practice for what standardized tests feel like.

    I wouldn’t worry too much about your son’s ambitions 😉 He’ll probably change his mind several times until he settles on what’s right for him. And if it’s not a white collar job, hey, he might be better off than the rest of us schmucks going to 4-years and getting up to our eyeballs in debt over a BS that won’t get us a job (not my personal experience, but I was a lucky one. That bubble is gonna burst reaaaaal soon). The most lucrative place to work in Charleston right now is Boeing, and all of their $22/hr employees went through a 1-2 year airplane design program at our local tech school. If you have a highly rated tech or trade school in your area, I would recommend looking into it. Not to push your son into any direction yet, because he’s got a few years before he should worry about college. But it won’t hurt to let him know they’re there 😛

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    1. Thank you, for the encouragement. He’s mature for his age, so it’s hard to sit back and remember sometimes that he’s only 12 ( almost 13). I know he has plenty of time and I’m still holding out for something spectacular (that’s what every parent wants right?), but realistically, as long as he’s productive and happy, that’s all that matters.

      I’m glad to hear your thoughts on the ACT. Personally, I see no need for him to take it now, but he is excited about it, and he’s not the kind that gets excited easily, so I think saying no, would do more harm than just letting it happen. Plus as you said, if anything- it’s good practice.

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      1. Do you know if there is a reward system if he does well on the ACT? I became a Duke TIP Scholar with mine, which opened a few bonus doors to me in middle school. I think it may have made me eligible for scholarships later too. I think anyone who made the 25th percentile or something got that title. Just something else to consider!

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      2. He was invited by the Duke TIP Scholar program. I’m not aware of any other incentives other than that. Oooh… scholarships 🙂 Any of those will definitely be welcomed.

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