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Thursday, January 29, 2004

Limited exposure

A friend called this evening to get together for dinner, but, alas, we're on opposite coasts, so we caught up long-distance.

We met years ago when our oldest daughters attended Catholic school together. They're a little more permissive than we are, he believes that denying your child anything creates a forbidden fruit situation, which should be avoided at all cost, but after two years of trouble that went uncorrected by the principal, including the fourth grade teacher who told the kids there was no Santa, and the fifth grade lessons in the girls' room, by various students, with tips on performing oral sex and rolling a joint, even they had enough. They finally pulled their daughter from that school last year.

Glad we missed all that.

Now their daughter is unhappy and having a difficult time at her new school, a larger local Catholic school. Are the academics too tough? Is it the peer pressure to join in activities she's uncomfortable with? No, it's the emotional rollercoaster of dating, being cheated on, breaking up, and watching your girlfriends betray you for the now eligible hottie. He qualified this by saying that it's not real dating, just "going together", but it's still creating an inordinate amount of stress in his daughter's life, and they just don't know what to do.

"Is S [our daughter] interested in boys yet?" he asked.

"Uh, not really, but then our exposure is pretty limited..."

"Yeah," he laughed, "nobody to fall in love with out there but gopher tortoises."

Damn right!


Tomorrow, I am keeping my promise of reinstituting science. Mostly, we unschool it in the science department, but tomorrow I haul out the Microchem 5000 and notebooks, and spend as much time as the girls want, mixing up potions, blowing things up, whatever.


And also tomorrow, Dad's back. He tried to make it today, but as usual, too many phone calls, too many minor emergencies on the job. So we'll see him sometime in the afternoon.

Bicoastal living, incidentally, is great and I thoroughly recommend it to all. Just when things start to drag at the end of the week, Dad shows up, everybody's happy, and by the time we start to get on each other's nerves (480 sq. ft. will do that to you sometimes), he leaves. It's the whole absence makes the heart grow fonder thing.