Random Thoughts on a Thursday

Please excuse the jumbled excuse of a post that will ensue shortly… My brain is all over the place today. So I will be posting about several unrelated thoughts because I don’t feel like doing multiple blog entries, but I want to blog about multiple things.

Part I

First, revisiting the Duggar saga… Jim Bob and Michelle have stated that “The real crime is in the release of the records.” While I dislike so much of what they stand for, they are right that releasing the records was wrong. Even redacted records. Criminally wrong? No, probably not – the victim’s names and the name of the juvenile were redacted from the report. That said, it was easy enough to surmise which sisters were affected, and yes, they are being victimized again through this release of records. But this has happened to MANY victims in the past. It’s part of why people are often afraid to come forward when they are victims of such crimes. For example, the woman who accused FSU Football Player “Famous” Jameis Winston of rape has reportedly been harassed after making her accusation.

To say, though, that “the real crime” is in the publicity, rather than in the molestation itself, is absolutely disgusting. It doesn’t matter if the girls can remember being molested on a conscious level or not (assuming those who were asleep at the time had no idea…), they were molested, and there wouldn’t be a news story about a crime if there was no crime in the first place. This is just a sad attempt of the Duggar patriarchs to try to cast blame on someone else for their own shortcomings, and to place themselves in the role of hapless victims.

The bottom line is that they purposed (yes, I’m using that ridiculous word of theirs!) to seek publicity in order to fill whatever need they have to either a) attempt to proselytize and convert the rest of America to their baby-hoarding ways, or b) gratify their own narcissism.

I am reminded that years ago, when my ex-husband (we were married at the time) wanted to enter the political arena, one of the reasons I most decidedly did not want any part of politics is that it places your family in a fish bowl.

Yes, I realize that we bloggers may be drawing attention to ourselves by writing in a public forum on the internet. That’s not the same as appearing on a television show and proclaiming to the world how wonderful your family is by criticizing said world for being “impure.” God forbid those boys see a woman in a short skirt and be “defrauded”! Their sisters had to shout “Nike!” if they saw some harlot walking down the street wearing immodest clothing, so the boys would know to look down at their shoes.

Nor do most bloggers I know get out there and lobby for the personal rights and freedoms of others to be taken away from them because they disagree with how others self-identify, and they worry that those “freaks” will somehow victimize children by their very presence. It’s the self-righteousness that tends to make people angry, because nobody likes hypocrisy.

End of the Duggar rant.

Part 2

Today was the last day of school in our district. At this point, all three of my kids are going to do online summer school… The older two because online classes are required at some point in high school and they want to get ahead in math, the youngest because he didn’t do so well in his sixth grade classes. He’s a smart kid (usually), but he went on a sort of strike this year and we’ll just say that it’s simply not possible to pass classes when you get too many zeroes. Since I don’t want him to be the kid who can legally purchase cigarettes in middle school, I’m making him do this little thing to get back on track.

I do feel that some of this was my fault in a way, because I worked a job that didn’t allow me to be present to nag remind him to do his homework, and get on his case about not doing school work. He’s very independent in a lot of ways, but he’s still a kid, and sometimes kids need a little extra “kick in the pants” to stay on track. But playing the blame game was not the point of this post.

As I was driving to work this afternoon, following a school bus, the whole, “Hey, it’s the last day of school” thing hit me.

Have you ever played the game of “Where was I ten of years ago?”

I was thinking back to other last days of school. Ten years ago, my oldest was finishing kindergarten. My middle child was finished with preschool, the “baby” was two years old, my ex-husband was deployed, and I was heading for the hills straight from that school playground. The last day in our district in New York was just an hour long – the kids really only went to pick up report cards, the fifth graders had a moving up ceremony with a big to-do… that was it.

The road trip was a three-legged trip that year. I drove out from Long Island, New York, to Austin, TX over the course of three days to visit the children’s paternal grandparents (my in-laws) in what I now refer to as “the House of Monogrammed Sheets and Towels.”  After that visit, I drove them to my parents’ house in central Florida, and I took the kids to Disney.

I did the whole “Leave straight from the playground” thing for a few years, mostly while the ex was deployed. It actually worked pretty well – I’d have the van loaded down the night before, and I would let the kids run around with their friends one last time, giving them the chance to work off a little energy before being cooped up in the car for hours on end.

There was a sense of anticipation in the weeks leading up to the trip and in the beginning of the trip. There was that sense of freedom that summer vacation brought. I miss that…

I love that I work. I love going somewhere every day and being productive and doing things to help people, and I love getting a paycheck to do so. But during summer vacation, it sure was nice to be able to “get away” and go somewhere without having to request time off from a job.

Now I live in the place that I used to go to escape. When the kids go to their father’s house in New York for a huge chunk of the summer, I will be going up to visit them for a few days. It’s not the same feeling, though. I don’t feel as though I am escaping to New York in the way I felt I was escaping to Florida. There is no sense of freedom opening up before me.

Is there something to be said for not having everything you want? Is there something to be said for that desire, that longing? That sense of accomplishment when you briefly achieve what you have wished for for so long?

I’m not sure, but I have no desire to move back to New York just so I can long for Florida.

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