Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Remembering The Family, Guy.

"The one thing I've learned about teenagers - God didn't create them, we did." - Gerald Mann

I woke up the other morning and John' was on my computer at 1 a.m. - doing a report on rabies which I'm sure was either due that morning or the day before. I didn't worry too much about the hour because the afternoon before he had come home from school, sprawled out on the couch and drifted into a state of unconsciousness I don't recall ever reaching even in my best pharmacological experimentation days. I've forgotten how teenagers can sleep...and sleep...and sleep.

I came home from work today and Ana proudly marched down the hall to show me a water color she had completed depicting the cast of "The Family Guy" - her favorite TV show. She was deservedly proud of her work and I was thrilled she wanted to share it with me.

I've never watched an episode of The Family Guy and wouldn't know one character from another but that doesn't matter...especially since I haven't told her that.

In about a half hour John' will be home from school and if there is a test grade or other achievement he's proud of he'll be anxious to tell me all about it.

Yesterday, I took Ana to enroll in classes at a local community college. I was hoping to get her set on a Tuesday - Thursday schedule coinciding with the classes her Mom takes at a different school on the opposite side of town. I suppose that was a partial success. Ana will go on Tuesday's and every other day of the week. Her classes will also be at times that don't jive with her Mother's at all. That means more trips to drop her off and pick her up at the local bus system Park and Ride...mercifully I think I'll be able to handle that task - Amy has taken on more than her share of duties as the family chauffeur as of late.

It's okay brings back memories and - as with many things - the distance of time seems to focus my vision only on the good parts. On the wall in front of the desk where I'm now sitting hangs an "award" my kids gave me for Father's day in 1998 that reads: "The Members of the Judkins-Main Siblings certify to all that Michael Douglas Main has achieved a world record of most miles driven for his step children." It's one of my most prized possessions.

Ana's courses are designed to bring up her reading and math skills. They'll start in about ten days and run eight weeks - an accelerated semester. She was brimming over with excitement as we left the school, peppering me with questions about what will be expected, talking a mile a minute about how nice everyone was, and asking what type of books she'll be reading, etc.

Friday night, Ana and Lee will still be wrapping up their work in New Orleans so John' will stay here with us. For the first time in weeks, he's not going to his school's football game with the band - a small issue of keeping his grades up in "Health class" due to not turning in assignments on time....ah yes, more and more of the teen years are coming back to me now.

While I don't condone fallen grades...especially in health...I confess I'm not too distressed that I won't have to sit in the parking lot of the high school late into the evening Friday waiting to drive him home after the game. John' seems like he isn’t too broken up over it either.

Of course I leave the parenting to Lee, but I must admit I'm relishing this time...even if it involves a lot of driving or scrambling around at 1 a.m. looking for a pair of scissors which are suddenly desperately needed in order for the final touches to be put on an overdue report about rabies.

Teenagers....they are indeed mystical creatures. They manage to bring both joy and consternation, to confound me and challenge me.

On this one I think I'll have to disagree with Gerald Mann though...teenagers seem like the ultimate example of God's handiwork to me.