Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Blog Has Moved

To those who read this blog, Atlanta Parent has changed the blog host. Please click here to go to the new location and change it in whatever links you have. Thanks.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Different Paths

As I write this, I’m sitting in the Seattle-Tacoma airport, waiting for a flight that takes off in a little over 90 minutes. It wasn’t supposed to be this way, but I’ll take it. My family and I flew out to the Northwest for my brother-in-law’s wedding. We were supposed to be on a flight home already with a layover in San Francisco. However, circumstances forced us on to a different flight that leaves later. Realize I’m not complaining. The new flight is direct and gets us to Atlanta earlier than our original itinerary, which means I may get home in time to watch Desperate Housewives. (Can’t help the addiction. Teri Hatcher’s hot.) However, more importantly, and those of you who have traveled with small children before can attest to this, direct flights are always a plus.

There are a lot of Auburn fans in the Northwest. Oregon has a small contingent, though the number of Auburn grads in the Beaver state is exceeded by the number of Auburn grads at Boeing. Still, as a resident, I found the state’s love of college football, without the insane zealotry that accompanies it, welcome at times. I think SEC is king, but I don’t disparage Pac-10 football. It is fun.

I remember one time being at a job interview in Vancouver, a Washington city that is a suburb of Portland. My interviewer identified himself as a native, but added that he’d spent twenty years in Baton Rouge. His first question was rhetorical. “They don’t understand up here, do they?!”

But back to my point. I was against the Chizik hire. I still think it was stupid. However, he is the Auburn coach and that’s the path we trod in the immediate future. I have to admit that I like the staff he has assembled so far.

Then came recruiting.

I have to give Chizik his profs. He finished in the top twenty in recruiting in all major polls. Part of it was the group that Tuberville recruited. However, mostly on his own, since he didn’t have a huge staff, he managed to hold on to a number of key recruits while putting us in the hunt for several talented WRs, something Tuberville only did once, as well as some good QBs.

So, like the flight that I am about to board, what we have may not have been our first choice. However, given the initial reaction and performance, I’m hoping it turns out better. .

Sunday, February 1, 2009

No Free Lunch

I think it was a year and a half ago that my younger son, Christopher, discovered credit. It was his first day of kindergarten. When Christopher came home, he ran to his Mom and said excitedly, “Mommy, they have chocolate milk in the lunchroom. I had chocolate milk today.” My wife, surprised by this, asked him where he got the milk. “From the lunchroom,” he replied. “My friend said the milk was free.”

My wife laughed, realizing what had happened. She’d made a complete lunch that morning for both our boys. However, some kids’ parents pay for the school lunch. She sat down with Christopher and explained it to him, saying that the milk was not free. She cautioned him not to do it again, saying that Mommy and Daddy have to pay for it later. My wife also told him that she would give him money once a week for chocolate milk, if he wanted it.

Things went smoothly for a week. As she promised, my wife gave Christopher money for his chocolate milk. They also reached an agreement for ice cream once a week, which made Christopher happy. Then that next Friday afternoon, Christopher came home and handed my wife a note from Christopher’s teacher. The note was a bill listing over a weeks’ worth of breakfasts that Christopher had apparently eaten in addition to the one chocolate milk. When my wife asked why he was eating breakfast, especially given that he eats breakfast at home every day, Christopher only replied, “Mommy, my friend said it was free.” Once again, my wife counseled him that the food at school is not free and that Mommy and Daddy have to pay for what he eats. She also sent a note to his teacher, letting her know of the situation and that he gets breakfast at home and brings everything he needs for lunch.

Christopher has learned much since then. He knows that Mommy and Daddy aren’t big on credit cards. He even has his own pseudo-version of credit. If he sees something at the store he wants to get, he knows he can get it with the money he has. If the money’s at home, we’ll get it for him…as long as he has sufficient money and promises to pay us back as soon as we get home.

We are thankful that the school sent the bill home so quickly. Had the school waited a month or longer, the bill could have been much higher. When Christopher gets older, I’m sure he’ll laugh.

Then again, when he becomes one of the people trying to pay the bills that our politicians are creating right now, he may view what he did as appropriate.