Ok people. If you haven't already noticed, we're fucked. The housing market shit the bed a year or two ago. The credit crisis has pretty much crippled our economy and the stock market feels about the same as a drunken weekend in Vegas gone awry. Folks that were once considered filthy rich are either in prison or living in their parent's basement. Everyday people that work like dogs to support their families are losing their jobs, their houses and basically fighting for their collective lives. Small businesses can't get loans from banks that were once giving away cash like beads at Mardi Gras. Our educational system is under funded and broken. Young men and women are dying in countries whose names we can't even pronounce. For god sakes, Paula Abdul has a career! What the hell is going on in this country?
It's hard enough to be a parent and a husband when everything is perfect. Even when all the stars in the sky are aligned and the moon is full, I pretty much suck at raising my kids. I have to admit that most of the time I'm pretty clueless when it comes to doling out advice to my daughters. I have no prior experience as a parent. There was no friggin' kid manual that came out of my wife's vagina on the days my daughters were born. This actually pisses me off a bit considering you can buy a clock radio and there are instructions in English, Spanish, French, Armenian and Belorussian.
For some reason my wife seems to know what she's doing. Sometimes I personally think the stuff that comes out of her mouth is crazy momma, crack pipe talk but somehow it sounds legit. Whenever I try and have a serious talk with my kids I start out all Maria von Trapp and somehow end up sounding like Pee Wee Herman all confused and angry.
The other day I attended my six year old's Parent / Teacher conference. If I have to listen to someone tell me how "smart" my kid is one more time before I get the old one-two punch in the face with "but her behavior concerns me", I'm gonna lose my mind.
After that dandy of a meeting, I posted this status message on my Facebook page: Jason Mayo is trying to figure out how to raise a kid. I think I suck at it...
By mid-day I had 34 comments! Basically every parent that saw that status message came clean with his or her own confession of parental lameness. Even though that surprised the shit out of me, I found it really comforting to know that I wasn't the only crappy Dad out there messing up my kid's life. It seemed fairly unanimous amongst the masses that we basically haven't got a clue as to how to raise our kids.
The bottom line is that it's really tough to raise a family, be a good spouse and bring home the bacon all at the same time. Now to make it worse, the whole world is falling apart around us. That's a lot of stress and a huge cross to bare for anyone, let alone a schmuck like me. So this morning I went looking for answers. Anything to make me feel a little bit better about where I'm at. I found something that made me feel a little bit better. Something that made me see the distinct parallels in life that we sometimes miss when we're caught up in our own measly existence. You see, our parents didn't exactly have it easy either and they wound up making it out alive. As a matter of fact we were the kids that they thought they were screwing up back then. Some of us even grew up to write a lame ass Parenting Blog. Go figure. So the bottom line is... same old, same old. Don't stress. Relinquish some of the burden to a higher power and enjoy what little we have left in this crazy day and age. We hopefully have health, our kids, our wives and husbands and the hope that this great country of ours will repair itself one stitch at a time.
In case you don't remember, we've been there before. The following essay appeared in the Merrick Life newspaper on Thursday, October 16th 1980. It was written by yours truly as a 9 year old during one of those periods in history when I could only imagine my parents were wondering, what's next?
“IF I WERE PRESIDENT..." by Jason Mayo
Great presidents have shaped history with their deeds and ideas. But if I were president, I would be responsible for all troubles that occurred and I'd lay them out on the table and do the best I can.
An unresolved problem that began on November 4, 1979 is the captivity of 52 American hostages, held prisoners, at the American Embassy in Teheran. First I would do something about strengthening our armed forces and do the best I can to get them back. The hostages have been held in Iran for almost a year and if just one plot of killing were overheard, I would declare immediate action by sending military forces to Iran to declare war. Unless they would immediately let the completely innocent hostages go unharmed.
As president I would handle the draft with more concern. It would be mandatory that all 18-year-old boys and girls be sent to the armed forces. The only choice a person would have would be to decide which service one would like to be in. I would establish a minimum service of one full year. We definitely need more support for our armed forces. I would encourage positions for the handicapped and make as much use of their abilities and interests.
Unemployment is a lack of work and when someone is fired he can apply for unemployment benefits. The government has set aside money for this. People can get paid a small wage when they report to the unemployment office. If I were president I would make provisions to extend benefits to those who want to benefit themselves by going to school. The law would allow them to collect while they took a short program to improve their skills. This would qualify more people for specific or specialized positions.
It would not be an easy task as president of the U.S. but if I were able to accomplish the above tasks successfully then I would be proud to say, "I contributed to my country's history.”
You said it brother... Words to live by in a time when we all feel, Out-Numbered...