August 18, 2003


Posted by Scott at 11:33 PM

Congratulations - These past couple of days two major events have gone by that are noteworthy. First congratulations to Chris and Katie on their first wedding anniversary! I don't know about what Chicago was like on Sunday, but New Hampshire felt a whole lot more comfortable on Sunday than the weather on your wedding day a year ago. ;-) A lot has happened this past year. I can only imagine what the years ahead have in store.

Second congratulations to Suzy who officially became a gradual, I mean, Graduate student today. Suzy, you have to write about your first day as a graduate student. What's your course load like? How are things looking? etc.

Suzy, I don't know if you remember much about this, but when I was younger, Grandpa Bilik used to think anyone who went to college beyond the bachelor degree level was just a "perpetual student", mooching off their parents. In his day only doctors and lawyers needed more than four years of college education. He had little idea why I, as an engineering graduate and military officer, went back to school in the evenings to get a Masters in Computer Engineering. "You already have a degree". Since Chris is also starting up graduate studies this fall, I'd be interested in knowing whether grandpa's getting used to this yet...

Claire repeats 2nd grade - It looks official that Claire will do second grade again this year. The past couple of years Michelle had been rather concerned about Claire being the youngest in her classes. By Chicago's school standards (for instance) she would be in second grade. She just makes the NH cutoff date. Towards the last few months of school last year when Claire started struggling to finish her work on time, Michelle was concerned that maybe she needed follow her instincts and hold her back. After discussing it with her teacher and school admins, they thought that would probably be a good course of action. Personally I'm not sure where I stand. I don't think it would hurt her. It just seems that at times she's extremely sharp and quick thinking and yet other times not putting the obvious together. I'm hoping that re-doing second grade will reinforce the fundamentals of language and math that so much of the rest builds upon. Interestingly NH public schools have a school level called "readiness" that's an option between kindergarten and first grade. It's designed exactly for those questionable cases.

Another tooth - Speaking of Claire, she lost another tooth Saturday evening. She was eating a late dinner and suddenly felt like she was chewing something that seemed too hard. Unfortunately she got no money from the tooth fairy the following morning because the "event happened too late". The money arrived later when the tooth fairy had time to catch up on her earlier tooth commitments. At least that's how I understand it.

Supermoms - I've recently been thinking that for good moms standing at heaven's gate, it must be like boarding Southwest Airlines with small children. You can bypass all the lines and get first pick of seats. So many mornings I think Michelle does such a heroic yet quiet and unrecognized amount, she's got to be on God's fast track. She never gets to sleep in. This morning she hauled all the kids to the YMCA while she taught a step class. This afternoon some neighborhood kids came over such that she was overseeing eight young kids. When I'm at work during the day she's changing three kids in diapers singlehandedly. I'm not saying that this is a cakewalk and that she doesn't feel like she's going to lose her marbles at times, but yet, it just seems so -- ordinary -- when I watch her manage it and consider it's just another day for her. Amazing, don't you think? It's a major theme of Opus Dei - the sanctification of ordinary work. Not the heroics of Joan of Arc, Mother Theresa, etc. but the more common struggles of everyday life. I think good mom's are some of the ones who most live that call. St. Therese of Lisieux used to speak of doing little things with great love. In some sense that is the bigger struggle because the sacrifices don't receive the honor and recognition of the highly publicized sacrifices.